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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 18, 1998
                 Joint US-EU Statement on Chapter IV
                  New Transatlantic Agenda Dialogues
                    Washington, December 18, 1998

The United States and European Union affirm their commitment to the process of strengthening and broadening public support on both sides of the Atlantic for the U.S.-EU partnership by fostering "people-to-people" transatlantic links between non-governmental actors. We applaud the steps taken during the Austrian EU Presidency to further the process of building bridges across the Atlantic, in particular, the establishment of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue and the on-going and constructive input we receive from the Transatlantic Business Dialogue. We have given encouragement to the Transatlantic Labor Dialogue to develop further its program of work. Building on work that began this year, we look forward to the formal launching of a Transatlantic Environmental Dialogue early next year. We welcome contacts that are taking place between development NGOs with a view to the possibility of establishing a Transatlantic Development Dialogue.

We look forward to these dialogues providing recommendations to us on an ongoing basis on issues of mutual concern, as they have done for today's Summit. We welcome input from these dialogues as well as other sectors of society to help shape our agenda.

We will work with all of the transatlantic dialogues to ensure that lines of communication to government are balanced and open. We will work with the dialogues to help ensure their sustainability. This process will require resources and support from outside of government, and we will encourage the development of links with the private sector, including foundations. We reaffirm our commitment to support initiatives to deepen the commercial, social, cultural, scientific and educational ties between our respective societies. We recognize that there is much that our transatlantic communities can learn from one another.