Giving Regulatory Cooperation a Reality Check

From: The Regulatory Review

Elizabeth Golberg

International regulatory cooperation agreements have not reached desired levels of effectiveness.


EU–U.S. regulatory cooperation has also witnessed some of these limitations. Sectoral agreements including aviation, marine equipment, financial services, and organic farming agreements have shown positive results. Although important, these agreements do not add up to a strategic regulatory cooperation relationship, and horizontal agreements on regulatory cooperation—such as a 1998 mutual recognition agreement—have not generated expected results. As “rule-makers,” the two parties continue to find it difficult to recognize each other’s regulations and regulatory approaches. Even attempts at “soft” cooperation, such as examining the impact of trade in regulatory impact assessments, while having led to modification of both EU guidelines and a U.S. executive order, have not been followed up on in practice.


The EU, with its continued commitment to multilateral organizations and to free trade agreements, will continue to play a strong role on the global regulatory cooperation stage. Confidence in globalization and international trade would be strengthened if other major “rule-makers” were to join this quest for high standards and global regulatory excellence.

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