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International dimension - Regulatory cooperation

Individual countries are increasingly facing similar challenges and calls for legislative or regulatory action. By informing each other and cooperating early on in the process, regulators and competent authorities can come up with similar or compatible solutions for similar problems. This reduces the cost of doing business, creates more and fairer competition across borders, driving down the costs of final products and offers consumers more choice. It also facilitates the adoption of high standards abroad, a key objective of regulatory cooperation for the EU.

The Commission cooperates closely with its trading partners on regulatory issues, both in multilateral, such as the UN, the OECD and the World Bank, as well as in bilateral dialogues.

Regulatory cooperation has also become an integral part of the bilateral free trade agreements, such as EU-Canada Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA) and ongoing negotiations on EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

When preparing its legislative and policy initiatives, the Commission identify likely impacts on third countries, international trade or investment. These are set out in a preliminary fashion in inception impact assessments. The Commission Better Regulation guidelines and accompanying toolbox provides further guidance on how to assess impacts on external trade and investment ( tool #22) and developing countries ( tool #30).

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