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European standards

European standardisation policy

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October 2014 - Independent Review of the European Standardisation System: Online Survey

In response to Action 29 of Communication COM (2011)311, EY (formerly Ernst & Young) is carrying out on behalf of the ”Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR)” an Independent Review of the European Standardisation System (ESS).

In the context of the Independent Review, an online survey was launched for assessing in a quantitative way the perception of multiple stakeholders regarding the suitability of the European Standardisation System (ESS) for the future, the fulfilment of strategic objectives, efficiency of processes and governance.

The survey aims at answering the following questions:

  1. How do actors within the ESS perceive it?
  2. To what extent are the strategic objectives fulfilled?
  3. Are there differences in the efficiency/quality in the delivery process answering to the needs of the Commission and answering to the needs of the industry?
  4. How did the standardisation package impact the system?
  5. What impact are the provisions of the Standardisation Package expected to have in the next years?
  6. Is the system suited for the future?

 You can find the survey at the following address: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/indepreviewESS

Considering the importance of collecting representative results from this consultation, and to ensure that your views will be taken into account in the Independent Review, we invite you to complete this survey. Moreover, we encourage you to share the link to this survey and related information with your members or partners active in standardisation.

The results of the survey will be aggregated, no individual answers will be used and the use of the data collected will be restricted to the scope of the Independent Review of the European Standardisation System.

The online consultation will be open from October 20th, 2014, until November 28th, 2014.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the EY team using the following email address: IndepReviewESS@be.ey.com.

If needed, you can also contact the European Commission through the following dedicated mailbox:
ENTR-INDEPENDENT-REVIEW@ec.europa.eu .

July 2014 - The annual Union work programme for European standardisation for 2015

Pursuant Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 on European standardisation, the Commission adopted on 30 July 2014 a Communication to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on the annual Union work programme for European standardisation.

The positive effects of standardisation are well known and recognised. However to ensure that Europe’s standardisation system can meet today’s challenges, the Commission proposed a reform package in 2011 including a new Regulation on European standardisation which took effect from 1 January 2013. This reform aimed at increasing the system’s inclusiveness, speed, responsiveness, transparency, flexibility and scope.

One innovation of the reform is the obligation for the Commission to adopt an annual Union work programme for European standardisation, which identifies strategic priorities for European standardisation on the basis of the policy objectives set by the Commission in its planning. This Communication, which is adopted for the second year running, identifies those priority domains where the Commission has intentions to use European standardisation as a policy tool in support of the Union's new or existing legislation and policies in the course of 2015. The intentions may lead in the future to formal standardisation requests (mandates) to the European standardisation organisations (ESOs) – CEN, CENELEC and ETSI, however leaving room also for standardisation related preliminary or ancillary actions invited or initiated by the Commission without mandates.

September 2013 – The list of national standardisation bodies pursuant to Article 27 of Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012

Pursuant to Article 27 of Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 on European standardisation, the Commission published on 27 September 2013 (OJ C 279/08, p. 15) the list of national standardisation bodies as notified by the Member States.

This list of national standardisation bodies identifies 37 standardisation bodies which are subject to certain requirements given in Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012. The requirements directly addressed to the national standardisation bodies are given in the following articles of the Regulation:

− Article 3 Transparency of work programmes of standardisation bodies
− Article 4 Transparency of standards
− Article 6 Access of SMEs to standards

In addition, according to Articles 15 and 17, Union financing may be granted to national standardisation bodies when they jointly undertake certain activities with the European standardisation organisations.

July 2013 - The annual Union work programme for European standardisation

Pursuant Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 on European standardisation, the Commission adopted on 31 July 2013 a Communication to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on the annual Union work programme for European standardisation.

The annual Union Work Programme (UWP) for European standardisation is a collection of policy and regulatory initiatives seeking support from European standards for their implementation. The list is exhaustive and is multi-annual with a focus on the European standards and other standardisation deliverables the Commission intends to request from the European standardisation organisations (ESOs) – CEN, CENELEC and ETSI with and without mandate in the coming year.

November 2012 - Regulation on European standardisation

Following its adoption by the Council on 4 October 2012, the Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on European standardisation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union in the series L 316. This Regulation aims at modernising and improving the European standards setting to make it faster and at the same time more inclusive.

March 2012 - Annual European standardisation work programme 2012

This work programme identifies priorities for Commission standardisation requests (mandates) in 2012 however it also looks beyond and at some mandates already issued.

The priorities concern firstly ‘harmonised standards’ which ensure that products meet the essential requirements set out in EU harmonisation legislation, where the European standardisation organisations (ESO) should also continue to improve existing standards to further consolidate the internal market.

The Commission also mandates other European standards to support
EU policies and invites the ESO to develop standards in other ways.

June 2011 - More Standards for Europe and faster 

More Standards for Europe and faster: this is the main objective of a series of measures that the European Commission proposed on 1 June 2011. Standards are sets of voluntary technical and quality criteria for products, services and production processes. Nobody is obliged to use or apply them but they help businesses in working together which ultimately saves money for the consumer.

The most important steps proposed by the Commission to strengthen the system of standard-setting in Europe are:

  • The enhancement of its cooperation with the leading standardisation organisations in Europe (i.e. CEN, CENELEC and ETSI);
  • The drafting of European standards with the help of organisations representing those most affected, or most concerned – consumers, small businesses (SMEs), environmental and social organisations;
  • The recognition of Global ICT standards that will play a more prominent role in the EU;
  • The increase of the number of European standards for services if there is a demand from business.

Some of these actions will be implemented immediately while others need the approval of the European Parliament and the Council.

More information

  • Commission communication on a strategic vision for European standards - COM(2011)311 pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) , 1 June 2011
  • Proposal for a Regulation on European standardisation - COM(2011)315 pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) , 1 June 2011
  • Commission staff working paper - Executive summary of the impact assessment - SEC(2011)672 pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) , 1 June 2011
  • Commission staff working paper - Impact assessment - SEC(2011)671 български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) , 1 June 2011
  • Citizens' summary pdf - 20 KB [20 KB] български (bg) čeština (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti keel (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) latviešu valoda (lv) lietuvių kalba (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)
  • Press releases:
    • "More and faster standards to advance Europe's competitiveness" MEMO/11/369, 1 June 2011
    • European Commission, "Commission for better standards to boost European competitiveness and promote consumers' interest", IP/11/668, 1 June 2011
    • Council of the European Union, "Reform of the European standardisation system", Nr: 14457/12 Press 409  , 4 October 2012

Standardisation supports market-based competition, so as to achieve objectives such as the interoperability of complementary products and services, or to provide agreed test methods and requirements for health, safety, organisational and environmental performance. Through the development of European standards and the withdrawal of conflicting national standards, standardisation has played a leading role in the achievement of a Single Market for goods.

Standardisation also has a public interest dimension, in particular with regard to the issues of health, safety, security and of the environment. For this reason, the European Union has an active standardisation policy, which promotes standardisation in support of better regulation, and as an instrument for the competitiveness of European industry. This policy is centred upon the recognised European standardisation system, and a partnership to implement the 'New Approach'.

On 21-22 December 2004 the Council adopted a Commission Communication on the role of European standardisation to support European policies and legislation. It underlines the importance of standardisation as an integral part of the EU's policies to carry out 'better regulation' to increase competitiveness of enterprises and to remove barriers to trade at international level. At the same time, it attracts public awareness to the challenges standardisation is currently facing in a globalised economy.

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