EU Trade policy: Commission should focus on transparency, sustainability and added value for its citizens

The US and the EU held their 9th negotiating round in New York from 20 to 24 April – with a focus on the following issues:

One of the hot topics is the so-called “regulatory cooperation” – an approach to align European and US standards (for example security requirements for cars or food safety regulations etc.) as well as to cooperate in the frame of a regulatory cooperation council even before new legislation is being proposed. That would mean that the US side is consulted on – and has the possibility to change or even stop - possible EU legislation even before the official process with the European Parliament or any consultation with civil society starts. There are serious doubts about the democratic legitimacy of such a regulatory cooperation council as its composition is unknown – no proposals have been published so far but leaked documents show potential involvements of business representatives in these councils. This would grant businesses a privileged access to the legislative process which is not acceptable.

We are delighted with our re-brand and it has been a real morale booster for everyone associated with the charity. It has only increased our ambition to lead UK volunteering in policy and practice, to continue to lead Volonteurope and to continue to make a contribution to European networks such as SOLIDAR with which we share ambition, vision, mission and values.