Bernhard Jansen, Director
Closing Remarks
4th US-UE Joint Conference on Occupational Safety and Health
Orlando, 16 September 2005

Bernhard Jansen - Director of European Commission (EC)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would first of all like to express my great appreciation for the successful way this 4th US-UE Joint Conference on OSH has been conducted and organised and for its remarkable results.

So many thanks to our US hosts, sponsors and organisers, that have made sure that our cooperation could progress, and thanks to all the participants for the lively and productive way they have approached discussion on conference topics.

We have undoubtedly made tangible progress on the subject matters which were on the agenda, and we have interest on both sides of the Atlantic that this progress is preserved and used as a building block for our future common endeavour.

But our work is not finished today! Looking to the future, we should build on the progress which we have been able to make, and on the new friendships and alliances which we were able to establish in the course of this three-day conference.

Despite all differences, we share a common vision: we all want to prevent work-related illness and disability.

For this reason, we all need to identify best practices to keep workers safe and improve safety and health for all our fellow-citizens at the workplace.

This common vision has resulted in a long-standing co-operation whose outcome is more and more tangible:

  • four joint conferences organised so far have been the platform for a very fruitful exchange of views on several OSH-related topical issues;
  • we managed to develop our ongoing dialogue to the level of concrete proposals for partnership, as the update on the pilot projects resulting from the previous Lemnos conference have demonstrated (Global Management of Chemicals / VPP);
  • we have consolidated our tripartite approach, with its inspirational principle of dialogue and mutual understanding;
  • we have been successful in improving our capacity of communication by learning from each other and giving each other the opportunity for new valuable practical insights on how workers' safety and health can be improved.

I think that there is general agreement that we should continue on the path which we followed on the basis of the New Transatlantic Agenda of 1995, and that means first of all that we should begin deliberations regarding a possible next joint conference to be organised in Europe in two years time from now.

EU looks forward to this as a new opportunity for partnership and cooperation with our US colleagues and friends.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for your kind attention.