Standards are technical specifications defining requirements for products, production processes, services or test-methods. These specifications are voluntary. They are developed by industry and market actors following some basic principles such as consensus, openness, transparency and non-discrimination. Standards ensure interoperability and safety, reduce costs and facilitate companies' integration in the value chain and trade.
Standardisation is a powerful and strategic tool for improving the efficiency of European policies. The Commission pays special attention to standardisation because standards can influence most areas of public concern such as the competitiveness of industry, the functioning of the single market, the protection of the environment and of human health, not to forget the enhancement of innovation.