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Strengthening cooperation between the standardization organisations of Europe and South America: Vice-President of the European Commission Mr Tajani’s official visit to Latin America


14 Jun 2011


Central Europe
EU Priorities 2020

Brussels, 9 June

Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Mr Antonio Tajani, will be travelling to Latin America from 9 - 13 June, where he will be meeting his South American counterparts in Chile, Argentina and Brazil, the first official visit from a European Commissioner for industry in fifteen years! This landmark moment for the two continents, that have always enjoyed close historical, cultural, economic and political ties, will be the opportunity to give a new impulse to bilateral relations, this time through the prism of standardization, between South America and Europe, independently of current EU-Mercosur negotiations.   

His trip will start in Chile, before heading to Buenos Aires. There he will be discussing cooperation in the field of standardization, especially based on international principles, regulations and standards with Mrs Debora Giorgi, the Argentinean Minister of Industry with the aim of agreeing on a “Joint Statement for Cooperation in Standardisation” expected to have important beneficial economic and societal repercussions for businesses and consumers alike. Within this context, he will make a direct reference to the revised agreement due to be signed shortly between all the standardization organizations involved in the AMN-CEN/CENELEC/ETSI agreement, one that will no doubt act as a catalyst for increased trade, both in terms of quantity and quality.

Indeed, standards are increasingly being recognised by public authorities as a particularly vital tool for boosting trade and have the potential to contribute enormously to renewed fresh talks between actors that have been official partners since 1990, when the Framework Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement entered into force between Argentina and the EU. This is of particular concern to Mr Tajani, who declared at a Press Conference held in Brussels on 1 June 2011, that Europe will push for more international standards while assuring the Commission’s commitment to enhance its cooperation with the European standardisation organisations in Europe, namely CEN, CENELEC and ETSI.

Considering the fact that Argentina is a founding member of Mercosur, this could be the first step towards establishing an inter-regional dialogue on standardization, for which the EU has built a long track of relevant proven experience, being currently engaged in regulatory dialogues that include a strong focus on standardization issues with China and Russia.

The aforementioned European Standards Organisations and their Latin American sister organisations; the Instituto Argentino de Normalización y Certificación (IRAM, Argentine Standardisation Body) on the Argentinean side and the Asociación Mercosur de Normalización (AMN) on the Mercosur side, will be very much relied upon in order to actively contribute to this prospective dialogue. Their participation and expertise will be essential and required in order to reach an agreement as quickly as possible, one that can achieve a large consensus between the relevant partners thereby ensuring the widest possible application. 

The ESOs, together with IRAM and ABNT, who enjoy full membership in AMN, both being founding members of Mercosur, and INN, an observer member, fully support this initiative, which will certainly contribute to the competitiveness of European and South American Enterprises, reassuring consumers on both sides of the Atlantic.

As a reminder Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay are the four full members of Mercosur, their national standards committees being also the members of AMN.  

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