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The European standards are voluntary, Europe-wide agreements which set out criteria for manufactured products.

Standards help to make sure that products are fit for their purpose, safe, comparable and compatible.

The European standards are developed by the three European standards organisations:

  • CEN (European Committee for Standardisation which deals with all sectors except the electro-technology and telecommunications sectors);
  • CENELEC (European Committee for Electro technical Standardisation which deals with standards in the electro-technical field);
  • ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute which covers the telecommunications field).

The references to European product standards under the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) that confer compliance with the Directive’s safety requirement are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Publication of references to standards under GPSD

Commission Decision on baby walkers
Film clip showing the testing procedure carried out to verify whether baby walkers are safe or not - (.wmv) / (.mpg)

Commission Decision on safety requirements for bath rings, bathing aids and bath-tubs and stands
See also the press release EU to set new safety standards for child care products

Commission Decision on safety requirements for childproof locking devices for windows and balcony doors

New Approach Standardisation joint website of the three European standards Organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI) together with both the European Commission and EFTA.

Results of the survey on consumer representation in standardisation

In 2004, the European Commission conducted a survey to assess the participation of consumer representatives in the work of standard-setting bodies at national, European and international level

The objective was to collect information on consumer associations’ experiences, views and needs relating to the representation of consumer interests in standardisation activities.

The results confirmed that consumer organisations are aware of the importance of taking part in standardisation activities to ensure a greater representation of consumers’ interests throughout the process. However, they require a more consistent and binding framework and increased financial and technical support to ensure that their intervention is active and efficient.

The evaluation report PDF gives a clear picture of the current consumer representation in standardisation in the European Union and reflects on opportunities for improvement

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