International activities in the context of the electrical engineering sector are intended to help the industry face the challenges of globalisation. To this end, the European Commission scrutinizes the industrial policy of other countries and trade blocks, evaluating the relevant economic impact on the sectors.
As well, the Commission favours market access in third countries by promoting regulatory convergence and expanding geographically the Internal Market, especially in large trading blocks like USA, China, Japan, Russia and others.
- More information about international activities
- Standards and Conformity Assessment - international aspects
More specifically, the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry is also active in the following issues in the area of electrical engineering:
Trans-Atlantic Economic Council (TEC). In this context, the Commission is negotiating with the U.S. and its Occupational Health and Safety Agency, a change towards the EU system that allows the manufacturer to do the conformity assessment for electrical products himself, even for some selected products. This is a barrier for companies who have to undergo a certification procedure by a U.S. certification authority before they can place their products on the U.S. market.
More information - TEC
Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The ITA was signed in 1996 under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to expand trade in IT and telecommunication products (ICT) by eliminating customs tariffs on an agreed range of products. ITA has not only boosted international trade in ICT products but also the dissemination of technology across the world.
On 15 September 2008 the European Communities presented a proposal to the WTO for the review of the agreement. This proposal includes an expansion of the product coverage to take into account technological developments, the agreement of disciplines to address non-tariff barriers, a mechanism for the regular update of product coverage, as well as possible expansion of the Agreement's Membership.
More information - WTO website
NAMA. The Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry is also active in the negotiations of the electronics chapter of the Non-Agricultural Market Access Negotiations (NAMA) in the WTO-context.
More information- WTO website
- Regulatory and Industrial and Enterprise Policy dialogues : DG Enterprise is very active in the area of electrical engineering in the following regulatory dialogues:
PECA - Protocol to the Europe Agreements on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products
The Europe Agreements are the basic accords governing bilateral relations between the European Communities and their Member States and a candidate country. Normally a candidate country to EU membership should approximate its legislation, including industrial standards and conformity assessment procedures, to that of the European Union.
MRA - Mutual Recognition Agreements
Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) between the European Union and third countries allow each party to operate the conformity assessment procedure of each other on their own territory.