Standardisation has played a leading role in creating the EU Single Market. Standards support market-based competition and help ensure the interoperability of complementary products and services. They reduce costs, improve safety, and enhance competition. Due to their role in protecting health, safety, security, and the environment, standards are important to the public. The EU has an active standardisation policy that promotes standards as a way to better regulation and enhance the competitiveness of European industry.
The Joint Initiative on Standardisation, as foreseen under the Single Market Strategy, sets out an innovative way of achieving priorities through an open public-private co-operation.
In the standardisation package of 1 June 2016, the Commission sets out its vision for a single and efficient standardisation policy that adapts to the changing environment, supports multiple policies and brings benefits to companies, consumers and workers alike.
Each year the European Commission publishes an Annual Work Programme for European standardisation. The programme lays down the Commission’s intentions to use standardisation in support of new or existing legislation and policies. These intentions may lead to formal standardisation requests (mandates). The obligation to identify strategic priorities for European Standardisation for the upcoming year comes from Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012.
The Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 aims to improve the procedure involved in setting European standards to make it faster and more inclusive. It was adopted in October 2012.
In 2011, the Commission proposed a series of measures to strengthen the system of standard-setting:
Some of these actions will be implemented immediately, while others need the approval of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
Vademecum on European Standardisation is a compilation of key documents from the Commission on European standardisation policy and related practice. It provides guidance without having legal status.