392. The European Union appreciates this contribution, that was just presented by South Africa, to the important debate about how to improve transparency in general and compliance with our notification obligations in particular. Building on the extensive discussion at the last Council for Trade in Goods, let me share some observations.
393. The EU agrees with the African Group, Cuba and India that notifications are not the only aspect of transparency. We also recognise that notification task is resource-intensive and can be challenging, particularly for small developing countries.
394. Notifications are, however, the enabler of the WTO's monitoring function. Without Members providing the information about our trade policies to the WTO which we all committed to provide, we cannot expect the WTO to do its job properly. The notification task, in our own experience, is also capacity building in and of itself, as it strengthens inter-agency cooperation.
395. In any case, our suggestion was to move the debate from the meta-level into the respective committees and councils with the relevant expertise.
396. Furthermore, the EU is in no way opposed to deepening the discussions on notifications in the relevant other bodies – to the contrary, we look forward to engaging with all Members on these issues.
397. In order to reply to the document submitted by South Africa and the African Group, introduced by our excellent colleague from South Africa, I would like to add something. EU actions usually do not target groups of countries or regions. The reason is because the EU supports regional integration. That fosters better understanding and political and economic links between neighbouring countries. That is why many technology transfer programmes of the EU and its member States target regions including both LDCs and also other developing countries. So that is the reason why we do not subscribe to the point of view made by South Africa, saying that the record of compliance by developed country Members is "abysmal" since information submitted under Article 66.2 is so wide. Actually, there is a reason behind it.
398. We look forward to working with all Members on making tangible improvements to our collective notification compliance and enhancing transparency for the benefit of all.