Institutionalizing economic relations between the EU and the US has been on the political agenda for many years. In recent years, however, there has been a shift from the traditional trade policy focus to issues of securing market access and harmonizing trade-related domestic policies. In February 2002, for instance, the EU commissioner for transportation, Loyola de Palacio, proposed the creation of a transatlantic air space. In November 2001, the German noble laureate in economics, Reinhard Selten, stated that a common transatlantic currency is “by all means possible”.
Large transatlantic mergers as between Daimler Benz and Chrysler underline that transatlantic cooperation in competition policies is an issue of growing importance.