It’s easy to write off ‘TEC’ as yet another talking shop as it is not a decision-making body. The second meeting took place in Brussels on 13 May and the next meeting is scheduled for October. If the quality and quantity of the US participation is anything to go by, the meeting was very important – several ministers leading a delegation of 65. The meeting was chaired by Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen and Daniel Price, Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs.
The laudable objective is to deepen and broaden transatlantic economic integration. This will maximize economic benefits for citizens through competition and stronger growth. In particular, TEC seeks, through the use of good regulatory practices, to bridge current regulatory divergences and avoid the creation of new ones.
The detailed outcome of the meeting can be found in the Joint Declaration. The success of the meeting will measured against the degree of implementation of the ‘agreements’ reached and whether TEC is providing the necessary “political” push, in the words of C Boyden Gray. The ultimate test is whether the TEC enables things to be done that would not otherwise be done – a result which is difficult to measure. The next stage is to agree a work plan and to try to ensure that TEC survives the 2009 transitions on both sides of the