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European standards

Standardisation in the internal market for services

The great importance of services to the European economy is clearly recognised and documented. Nevertheless, the internal market for services has not been functioning as well as it should. Recognising the success of the role of European standardisation in opening the internal market for goods, the Commission is interested in the role that European standardisation could play in the internal market for services.

The directive on services in the internal market (2006/123/EC 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) [212 KB] ) reflects this interest, stating in its recitals that 'it is appropriate to examine the extent to which European standardisation could facilitate compatibility and quality of services' and going further (Article 26(5)) to require Member States in conjunction with the Commission to encourage the development of voluntary European standards that could promote interoperability and the exchange of information and increase quality.

In parallel with the negotiations on the services Directive, and in accordance with its provisions as enacted, the Commission has issued two programming mandates in the field of services:

Mandate M371 requested projects of standardisation programming work, either sectoral or horizontal, that would look in depth at particular service areas, industries or processes and would be chosen on the grounds of a clear need and impact upon trade at a European level or upon users of services at the European scale. Great importance was placed on the need to contact and interact with all stakeholders in the particular area chosen.

CEN's response to the mandate was to select 11 projects of standardisation programming work. A grant agreement between CEN and the European Commission and the European Free Trade Association was signed at the end of 2006. CEN's report from early 2009 has been approved by the Commission services and the follow-up is under consideration.

The projects undertaken by CEN under the grant agreement in order to fulfil mandate M371 were:

  1. CEN Horizontal European Service Standardisation Strategy ('CHESSS')
  1. Accessibility services in the area of transport and tourism
  1. Consultancy engineering services
  1. Services for resident people
  1. Residential homes for elderly people
  1. Welcome and reception services
  1. Recruitment services
  1. Recreational marine services
  1. IT-outsourcing
  1. Outsourcing
  1. Smart house services

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