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CEN and CENELEC sign a joint Memorandum of Understanding with the International Federation of Standards Users (IFAN)


29 Sep 2011


EU Priorities 2020
Health & Consumers

New Delhi, 21 September 2011 – The International Standardization Organization’s annual General Assembly was the occasion for a landmark cooperation agreement to be ratified, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, between on the one hand European standards developers (CEN and CENELEC) and on the other, the institution representing standards users’ interests (IFAN).

Founded in 1974, the International Federation of Standards Users (IFAN) is an independent, non profit-making international association of national organisations for the application of standards, companies, professional and trade associations, and governmental agencies, concerned with the use of standards.

For this reason, both CEN and CENELEC recognize the valuable role of IFAN in promoting the implementation of standards, in consolidating standards users’ interests in standardization and related areas, and in exchanging views based on experience in the field of the application of standards.

The Memorandum, which replaces the existing two agreements of cooperation with IFAN focuses on increasing cooperation and in particular joint activities or studies related to standardization, especially where these activities or studies require a wide range of respondents and/or joint participation of standards users and standards developers.

Mrs Elena Santiago Cid, CEN and CENELEC Director General was pleased to note that "with this CEN-CENELEC agreement we are revitalising our cooperation with the standards users, improving the education about standardization and strengthening the link with our customers, inviting them to give us feedback and react quicker to their requests".

From a consumer’s perspective, this is an important step towards in ensuring deliverables that fully take into account standards users’ needs. It also highlights the high degree of accessibility offered by the European Standardization process, where a maximum of stakeholders are included by the European Standards developers (the European Standards Organisations), in this particular case CEN and CENELEC.

Overall cooperation is expected to thrive between standards users and standards developers, making this Memorandum of Understanding vital in our joint pursuit of excellence in the domain of standardization.

Mr Ross Wraight, the President of IFAN, said that the “signing of the MoU was a significant milestone for IFAN and reinforces the importance of standard user input into the standards development process. It is also timely given the extensive efforts being made in Europe to reach out to the SME sector. IFAN can provide direct user input which will result in user friendly standards that are more relevant to businesses needs."

MEDIA contact - CEN and CENELEC

Ludovic Highman

Editorial Project Manager – Communication

Tel: +32 2 550 08 32



The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is a business catalyst in Europe, removing trade barriers for European stakeholders such as industry, public administration, service providers, consumers and other stakeholders. Its mission is to foster the European economy in global trading, the welfare of European citizens, and the environment. Through its services, CEN provides a platform for the development of European Standards and other specifications.

CEN’s 31 National Members work together to develop voluntary European Standards (ENs) in various sectors to build a European Internal Market for goods and services and to position Europe in the global economy. By supporting research, and helping disseminate innovation, standards are a powerful tool for economic growth. More than 60.000 technical experts as well as business federations, consumer and other societal interest organisations are involved in the CEN network that reaches over 480 million people. For further information, please visit:


The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization is officially responsible for standardization in the electrotechnical field. In an ever more global economy, CENELEC fosters innovation and competitiveness, making technology available not only to major businesses but also to SMEs through the production of voluntary standards. CENELEC creates market access at the European level but also at the international level through its cooperation agreement with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Through the work of its 31 Members together with its experts, the industry federations and consumers, Electrotechnical European Standards are created in order to help shape the European Internal Market, to encourage technological development, to ensure interoperability and to guarantee the safety and health of consumers and provide environmental protection. Detailed information available at