The Council of the European Union has approved the conclusions of a new nuclear co-operation agreement between the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the Government of the United States of America. The new agreement will provide the basis for nuclear co-operation between the parties in the areas of research, industrial trade and safety. Following approval of the text of the new agreement by the US Congress, it is expected that it will enter into force early next year. Commenting on the agreement, Mr Christos Papoutsis, Commissioner for energy, said: "I attach great political importance to reaching a new agreement with the United States in the area of nuclear cooperation. The Commission is satisfied that the agreement reached attains the EU's objectives and preserves Euratom's essential interests. This new agreement will help the Union and the United States to work together internationally in support of the highest standards of nuclear safety, cooperation and non-proliferation".