Such criticism cannot be ignored. As we argue in this paper, by clarifying its view on this issue, the EU can further strengthen the position in fora like the G7 and the G20 where the topic of trade is currently under discussion. But along which lines? Regulatory cooperation, in the context of the new generation of trade agreements, is promising, reasonable and controllable. If done correctly, regulatory cooperation will benefit consumers and not threaten consumer protection. However, a regulatory cooperation body needs transparency and a set of rules to be fully accountable to EU citizens.

Looking at the way the same issue was dealt with in the context of monetary policy and independent central banks, we propose a mix of provisions that aim at defining a clear mandate, enforcing transparency of operations and establishing a reputation.