Standards give confidence that a product or a service is fit for purpose, is safe and will not harm people or the environment.
On Tuesday 12th of July, the Internal Market Committee adopted its position for the updated Regulation governing the European standardisation system, which aims to enhance its governance structure and reinforce the role of national representatives of EU Member States, with 43 votes in favour, one against and no abstentions. The amended rules aim to strengthen EU’s role as a global standard-setter and to help achieve EU’s green and digital ambitions.
European players to take key decisions
European standardisation organisations (ESOs) - CEN, CENELEC and ETSI - have an exclusive role to carry out standardisation work requested by the Commission, in support of EU legislation and policies. They can cooperate with a wide range of stakeholders, including from third countries.
The changes proposed to existing rules aim to improve all ESO’s governance structure to require decisions concerning European standards following mandates from the Commission to be taken by national delegates (the national standardisations bodies) from the EU and EEA member states. This way the decision-making process would be protected from undue influence of foreign actors during the development of standards for key areas, like cybersecurity or hydrogen standards. The internal governance of European standardisation organisations would also have to take into account the views of all European stakeholders (including SMEs and civil society organisations).
Rapporteur Svenja Hahn (Renew, DE) said: "Standard setting is of crucial importance for the future of our Single Market and for our European societies as a whole. Standards are not only technical details, but can also be a political instrument. The compromise we have reached is an important step towards the implementation of the EU’s standardisation strategy. I am pleased that we underline that standard setting must remain a process that involves a broad basis of stakeholders. Moreover, we continue the efforts to ensure that public interests and European values are not undermined."