In 1998, the European Business Congress (now International Business Congress) began its active work. First meetings of the five newly-created Working Committees took place over the course of the year. Following topics have been addressed at the meetings:
- “Energy”: liberalization of natural gas and electricity markets in Europe, problems of oil and gas supplies to European markets and prospects for their production in the states of the former Soviet Union.
- “Information and Communication”: information technologies issues in the context of liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of information markets.
- “Ecology and Healthcare”: introduction of environmental management systems in accordance with ISO 14001, standardization of health care facilities and medical services in emergency situations, medical prevention at the production.
- “Business Security”: business security issues in the OSCE region, the establishment of a unified legal system to regulate business.
- “Law, Banking and Finance”: legal banking and financial issues between East and West, ways to overcome the crisis of the banking system in Russia.
Working bodies of the Congress have been established in accordance with the EBC Articles of Association: the Annual General Meeting, the Presiding Committee Meeting, the Board of Executive Directors and the Secretariat.
The first Annual General Meeting of the EBC was held in Italy, on the island of Sardinia, at the invitation of ENI. More than 200 representatives from 64 companies and organizations representing 24 OSCE countries attended the event. The General meeting addressed economic integration of Eastern and Western Europe and the prospects for the energy sector development in the OSCE region.