European Consumer Commissioner
Press conference speaking points
Brussels, 17 November 2008
Good morning everyone
It is with great pleasure that I stand here today together with distinguished guests from the United States and China to tell you about the latest developments in our trilateral co-operation on product safety.
I would like to present to you Mrs Nancy Nord, Chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Mr Wei Chuanzhong, Vice Minister of the Chinese Product Safety authority AQSIQ.
That we stand here together today signifies an extraordinary level of achievement in co-operation on product safety. The work we are doing together will help improve the health and safety of consumers across three continents. This is something to be proud of.
As the flow of goods increases and supply chains become ever more complex, it is clear that closer co-operation between Europe, China and the US is not just a desirable luxury but a real necessity.
Let me give a concrete example. The "summer of recalls" in 2007 caused great concern for consumers across our three continents. It showed more clearly than ever that delivering effective product safety cannot just be a national or even European concern.
It is a truly global issue.
And it is clear that we must do more. Today's trilateral summit confirms and advances that ambition at the highest political level.
Today the EU, China and US have discussed the specific actions on which we would like our intensified co-operation to focus in the next year,
In particular we have discussed:
Memorandum of Understanding
There is another very important achievement I want to highlight today. Earlier this morning I signed together with vice Minister Wei, a reinforced Memorandum of Understanding on Product Safety.
International Product Safety Week
I am particularly pleased that this summit can take place at the start of International Product Safety Week in Brussels,
It is a sign of all the progress we have made that we are able to convene in one place so many of the main global actors working in the consumer product safety field for a week of seminars, workshops and training.
Since I took office as EU Consumer Commissioner in 2007, my message to consumers has been very clear - there can be no compromise on safety.
Today I want to underline that there is no room for complacency.
We still see weekly recalls in our Rapid Alert System of consumer goods - furniture, clothes, shoes, toys and electrical goods that can cause serious injury and threaten lives.
There are major safety challenges ahead as global supply chains increase in length, volume and complexity.
Closer co-operation between Europe, the United States and China is an absolute necessity.
I believe that this summit marks a very important step in the right direction.
Thank you for your attention