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European standards

Standardisation - Key players

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European standardisation is a voluntary activity of building consensus in order to create technical specifications that is carried out by, and for, all interested parties.

European standards are developed through the platforms provided by one of the three European Standards Organisations, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). In the case of CEN and CENELEC, European standards are developed according to the principles of national delegation, whereby their members -the National Standards Bodies (NSBs) of the EU Member States and the EFTA states - are responsible for developing European consensus.

Industry is a key player - whether as a direct member of the process in ETSI or through the national delegations in CEN and CENELEC. SME representation is reinforced by Small Business Standards (SBS).

The participation of 'societal' stakeholders in the standardisation process brings a strong and important dimension of accountability. ANEC, ETUI and ECOS play important roles in European standardisation. These parties represent consumer, trade union and environmental interests.

The public authorities are also key players in this field. They act as drivers for standardisation through the development of standards-receptive legislation, the issue of standardisation mandates and public procurement. They provide significant funding to standardisation, both for the ESOs and the NSBs.

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