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European standards

Standardisation requests - mandates

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A standardisation request (mandate) is a demand from the European Commission to the European standardisation organisations (ESOs) to draw up and adopt European standards in support of European policies and legislation. 
European standards, even developed under a mandate and for European legislation, remain voluntary in their use.

Draft mandates are drawn up by the Commission services through a process of consultation with a wide group of interested parties (social partners, consumers, SMEs, relevant industry associations, etc.). Before being formally addressed to the ESOs, they are submitted to the Committee on Standards of the Regulation (EU) 1025/2012.

On-line database on mandates

A mandate accepted by the ESOs should be regarded as a firm commitment on their part with respect to the public authorities.

The ESOs, which are independent organisations, have the right to refuse a mandate if they do not think that standards can be produced in the area being covered. In practice this refusal happens rarely due to the informal consultation mentioned above.

Three types of mandates could be considered:

  • standardisation mandates: to develop and adopt European standards within a given time
  • programming mandates: to elaborate a standardisation programme
  • study mandates: to check the feasibility of European standardisation in a specific field or for a certain subject.

The standardisation requests which are issued by the European Commission and which are accepted by the ESOs, are available in the database of mandates.
The full texts of the mandates are uploaded in English, French and German.

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