The Commission launched a public consultation on Standards for the Digital Single Market (DSM). With this consultation, the Commission aims to gather views on priorities for standards. The consultation is open until 4 January, 2016.

image of a globe and connected ICT devices and text "Standards for the Digital Single Market"

Standards are important tools for making different systems work together and stimulating the emergence of new eco-systems across a digital single market of more than 500 million people in Europe. They can boost innovation and reinforce the competitiveness of the European industry. Today the Commission launched a public consultation on Standards for the Digital Single Market (DSM). With this consultation, the Commission seeks input from Standards Development Organisations, companies, researchers, stakeholders' associations, public authorities and any interested party. The public consultation is open until 4 January 2016.

The questionnaire is available in English, French and German but feel free to answer in any EU language of your preference.

Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: "We need common standards and interoperability to make the best of fast-growing sectors such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things. We also need them to promote e-government services around Europe and a more inclusive e-society. Systems must be able to connect and ”talk” to other digital devices – across countries and sectors. Europe should be on top of standard-setting worldwide".

Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said: "Europe cannot be at the forefront of the digital revolution with a fragmented digital market. It is essential to have common standards and interoperable solutions throughout the products and services. The digital economy should not be developed in locked environments and platforms".

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: "Standards are an essential component of the single market. For Europe to be at the cutting edge of innovation, our standards need to adapt quickly and effectively to the emergence of new technologies and to internationalisation".

The Commission is gathering views on priorities for standards in key technology areas which are critical to achieving the DSM and which, once delivered, can constitute a technological foundation upon which other standards can be built. The Commission is looking for input on standards in:

  • 5G communications,
  • Cloud computing,
  • Cybersecurity,
  • Data driven services and applications,
  • Digitisation of European Industry,
  • eHealth,
  • Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS),
  • Internet of Things,
  • Smart Cities and efficient energy use.

The contributions to this consultation will serve to build an ICT Priority Standards Plan, as set out in the Digital Single Market Strategy presented by the Commission on 6 May.

Background

The EU supports an effective and coherent standardisation framework, which ensures that high quality standards are developed in a timely manner. The European Commission funds the work of European Standardisation Organisations (ETSI, CEN, CENELEC), but does not interfere with the standardisation setting conducted by industry or National Standardisation Organisations. EU-funded research and innovation projects make their results available to the standardisation work of several standards-setting organisations. The EU Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation provides an overview of the activities to be undertaken in support of EU policies.

As part of the ICT standardisation policy, a European Multi Stakeholders Platform (MSP) on ICT standardisation was setup in 2011. The MSP plays the role of advisor and guide on matters relating to ICT standardisation policy and to priority-setting in support of legislation and policies. Furthermore, it advises on identification of ICT technical specifications for use in public procurement elaborated by Global ICT Fora and Consortia, and stimulates a better cooperation between the actors.

The report of the independent review of the European Standardisation System (ESS) has issued recommendations on how to improve the strategic dimension of the ESS and operation planning by ensuring alignment and consistency between the strategies and planning activities of the various stakeholders. The new ICT Priority Standards Plan will set priorities to ensure that the most relevant standards are being developed exactly when needed.

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