In February 2022, the European Commission rolled out a new Standardisation Strategy. The Strategy delineates the Union’s approach towards harmonised standards, not only within the Single Market but also worldwide.
The new Strategy is a key element within the European framework since it aims to strengthen the EU’s competitiveness along with a buoyant green and digital economy by safeguarding our European democratic values.
What are harmonised standards?
In the European Union, harmonised standards are developed by a recognised European Standards Organisation (CEN, CENELEC, or ETSI) following a request from the European Commission. The process is based on a public-private-partnership between the Commission and the standardisation entities, where roles and responsibilities are determined by the 2012 Standardisation Regulation.
Once adopted by the Commission and published in the Official Journal of the EU, the standards become part of EU law. Thus, they provide manufacturers applying them in the Single Market with a presumption of conformity with the requirements of EU legislation.
Do manufacturers benefit from EU standards?
European standards are playing a pivotal role as global benchmarks as they put European SMEs and consumers’ safety at the centre. Especially, presumption of conformity with the EU legislation significatively decreases the costs for medium and small enterprises (SMEs).
Manufacturers are particularly active in this scenario as standards are the pillars ensuring the interoperability of products and services, which, in turn, improve safety and consumer surplus. Complying with harmonised standards is a competitive advantage for manufacturers as they certify that their products are in line with EU law. Likewise, by setting global standards, the EU exports its values while providing EU companies with an important first-mover advantage (European Commission, 2022).
How does the European Commission manage standardisation pursuits?
More specifically, standardisation priorities will be listed in the 2022 Annual Union Work Programme for European standardisation. Afterwards, a High-level Forum will be set up to inform future standardisation priorities
Furthermore, to improve the governance in the European standardisation system, the Commission is proposing an amendment to the Regulation on standardisation. In details, the Commission focuses on the inclusiveness of the system by fostering the role of SMEs and civil society. Moreover, the Commission proposes that the mandates are to be handled by delegates from the national standardisation bodies from the EU and EEA Member States. In doing so, the Commission aims at improving the governance and integrity of the European standardisation system (European Commission, 2022).
Are you a manufacturer planning on placing your product on the EU market? Do you wish to be informed about the new EU Standardisation Strategy?
Do not hesitate to contact Obelis, we will not only support you throughout the market pre-accession process, but we will also maintain you on track on the new standardisation activities your company might benefit from!
Sofia Belmare Ingrande
Regulatory Affairs Department
European Commission website (2022) New approach to enable global leadership of EU standards promoting values and a resilient, green and digital Single Market. Retrieved on 02/02/2022 from https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_661.