BRUSSELS — The European Union and the United States have agreed to coordinate their efforts to build cross-continent computerized information networks, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.

Joan Spero, U.S. under-secretary of state for economics and agriculture, said the two sides would try to set up a working group on the issue by summer.

Infrastructure investment

President Clinton has proposed a major investment in infrastructure for information superhighways that can send voice, data and pictures across high-speed telecommunications networks.

The Euro Union is also seeking ways to promote communications “trans-European networks” as part of an effort to boost economic growth and make its single market work more efficiently.

Trans-Atlantic bridge

“We want to make sure we learn from each other as we develop these new systems and that we build a trans-Atlantic bridge so those two important networks will be able to communicate with each other,” Spero said.

Spero spoke following subcabinet-level meetings between the Euro Union and U.S.

She said the working group had been proposed by Michel Carpentier, the European Commission’s director-general for telecommunications, and warmly welcomed by the U.S.

Euro Union industry commissioner Martin Bangemann told reporters earlier this week that he wanted a union group charged with studying information networks to include U.S. and Japanese representatives.

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