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The European standardisation system

The European standardisation system

The European standardisation system is lead by three European standardisation bodies:

The European standardisation is a coherent system based on the principle of national delegation.

  • CEN and CENELEC are European organisations made up of national standards bodies (NSBs), which are members of CEN and of CENELEC
  • ETSI is based on direct participation of industry (without NSBs or other intermediaries) and also foresees national votes on European standards.

When CEN or CENELEC elaborate a new European Standard, they set up a European technical committee under the responsibility of one of its national members, and consisting of other national members (NSBs).

At the same time NSBs create the so-called "National Mirror Committees" (reflecting the European technical committee on the Member State level), which enable all interested parties (enterprises, consumers, public authorities, NGOs, etc.) to participate in the creation of the standard at national level and in their own language.
These National Mirror Committees elaborate a national position for the drafting and voting of a European standard, which is then presented at the European technical committee.

The work done by ETSI is carried out in committees and working groups composed of technical experts from the Institute's member companies and organizations. These committees are often referred to as "Technical Bodies".

For certain urgent items of work ETSI may also convene small groups of technical experts (Specialist Task Forces) usually seconded from ETSI members, to work intensively over a period of time, typically a few months, to accelerate the drafting work.

The European standardisation system is currently being reviewed with a view to making it more flexible and responsive to arising challenges.

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