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CEN and CENELEC welcome European Commission’s commitment to have a 'single standardization policy'


02 Jun 2016


Innovation & Enterprise

CEN and CENELEC welcome the European Commission’s latest proposals concerning the future of the European Standardization System.  In particular, CEN and CENELEC are satisfied to see that the Commission has committed itself to having a more consistent and unified policy towards standardization, which serves to strengthen the Single Market and also supports the implementation of EU policies and legislation.

Responding to the European Commission’s Communication 'European Standards for the 21st Century' (COM(2016) 358 final), which was published on 1 June, Elena Santiago Cid, Director General of CEN and CENELEC said: "In CEN and CENELEC, we are very pleased to see that the European Commission has promised to have a much more coherent and integrated policy towards standardization. We believe that the 'single standardization policy' should encompass all economic sectors and fields of activity – including digital technologies, which until now have been addressed separately."

"In today’s world, where digital and smart technologies are becoming ever more prevalent, it is increasingly difficult to draw the line between what is digital and what is not digital," said Ms Santiago Cid. "For example – in the domestic environment, appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators are becoming smarter, while home heating systems can also be connected to the internet. Meanwhile, in the workplace, digital interfaces are being integrated into all kinds of equipment and machinery. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure a more coherent and consistent approach towards standardization across all fields of activity, and this should also be reflected in the cooperation between the European Commission, the European Standardization Organizations and other stakeholders."

Referring to 'The annual Union work programme for European standardisation for 2017', which was also published on 1 June, Ms Santiago Cid stated: "We look forward to cooperating with the European Commission on the implementation of this work programme, and we especially welcome the renewed commitment to promoting the development of standards in relation to services. Based on experience, we know that having common standards at European level can help to strengthen the Single Market, boost growth and create jobs. However, the current situation is that service standards only account for 2% of all European standards, even though services represent 70% of the European economy. So there is enormous potential for standards to play a positive role in the future!"

CEN and CENELEC look forward to the launch of the 'Joint Initiative on Standardization' (JIS), which has been developed in the framework of the European Commission’s 'Single Market Strategy'. The JIS will be officially launched in Amsterdam on 13 June, during a major conference on the Single Market organized by the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU. Alongside the European Commission, EFTA and the European Standardization Organizations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI), a wide range of stakeholders will participate in the JIS -  including European industry federations, societal stakeholder organizations, SBS (Small Business Standards) and national governments, among others.

"We welcome the fact that the Joint Initiative is bringing together such a wide range of stakeholders, and we believe that this will serve to further strengthen the European Standardization System, which is based on a public-private partnership that includes the European institutions, business and other stakeholders," said Ms Santiago Cid. "All of the standards published by CEN and CENELEC are developed by experts from industry – including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), working together with representatives of societal stakeholders – including consumers, environmental and social interests. By following an inclusive approach and taking the views of different stakeholders into account, we can ensure that our standards meet market needs, and that they also contribute to achieving societal objectives such as accessibility and sustainability."


On 1 June 2016, the European Commission published the following documents:

•         Communication 'European standards for the 21st century' (COM(2016) 358 final)

•         The annual Union work programme for European standardisation for 2017 (COM(2016) 357 final)

•         Tapping the potential of European service standards to help Europe's consumers and businesses (SWD(2016) 186 final)

For more information, please see the Press Release on the EC website.

The Joint Initiative on Standardisation (JIS) to be launched on 13 June in Amsterdam, at a Conference on the European Single Market organized by the Dutch Government (Ministry of Economic Affairs) in the framework of The Netherlands EU Presidency.

Read the full press release on the CEN-CENELEC website


Media contact

Ben Carlin

Communication Unit

CEN-CENELEC Management Centre

T: +32 2 550 08 32


Twitter: @CENCLCpress