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European Standardization Achievements: From the Lisbon Agenda to the EU 2020 Strategy


10 Jun 2010


Climate & Environment
Health & Consumers
EU Priorities 2020
Innovation & Enterprise
Trade & Society

Malta, 3 June 2010 – CEN and CENELEC held their 6th Annual Meeting on 2 June in Malta, under the auspices of the Malta Standards Authority (MSA). Presentations and panel discussions aimed to review the evolution of European standardization over the past decade and its adaptation to arising challenges in order to successfully respond to the objectives set by Europe for 2020.

The Prime Minister of Malta, speakers and panellists from the private and public sector recognised the key achievements that standardization has made in support of industry’s competitiveness and of European policies. They similarly expressed their expectations from standardization with regard to its potential to contribute to the economic recovery, with a greener and more innovative Single Market, and to respond to the needs of an evolving society.

Presentations showed that much has been done to achieve smart and sustainable growth, highlighting the role of standardization in channelling knowledge and innovation to the market and in fostering Europe's competitiveness worldwide. In this respect CEN and CENELEC reiterated their commitment to strengthen their relationship with the research community and to foster early transfer of R&D results into standardization. The European Standards Organisations have coordinated their actions in several fields of activity to provide the right tools to assert Europe’s lead in identified sectors. Electric vehicles, smart grids, and smart meters are only but a few of these areas where standardization activities have been initiated and which are expected to bring promising results.

In supporting the objectives of the Lisbon Agenda to become the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world and foster growth, CEN and CENELEC have endeavoured to promote an inclusive industrial policy that improves all stakeholders’ competitiveness – from SMEs to big multinationals – nationally and globally. The economic benefits of standardization for business and the economy as a whole were highlighted, showing the figure of 25% of GDP growth. This not only serves the benefits of business but of society at large. The growing number of European Standards has also contributed to increase the safety of consumers whose evolving needs have been reflected in standardization work. Accessibility requirements are at the heart of standardization activities. Moreover the basic principles of European Standardization resting on national delegation and public-private cooperation ensure the proper representation of consumers in standardization activities and the enforcement of safe products on the European market.

The various ongoing initiatives on the future of European standardization undertaken by regulators and the responses provided by the standardization community were discussed. Industry and standardizers seized this opportunity to voice their strong support for the provision of one unique Single Act, in the event that it is decided to modify the legislation.

The system is independent, innovative, coherent, effective and efficient and these values have confirmed its market relevance. CEN and CENELEC now bet on innovation and internationalisation to contribute to the reinforcement of the Single Market and to take Europe through the next decade, meeting the ambitious objectives of the EU 2020 strategy.

from left to right:

Mr Ivar Jachwitz, CEN-CENELEC-ETSI External Relations Committee; Mr Markus Reigl, Head of Standardization Corporate Siemens AG; Benedicte Federspiel, Chief Counsel - Danish Consumer Council; Mr John Ketchell, Director Innovation, CEN-CENELEC; Mr Claude Breining, Senior Vice-President Standardization and European Affairs at Schneider Electric; Ms Joanna Drake, Director Promotion of SMEs' competitiveness, EC DG Enterprise & Industry; Mr Mike Low, Director British Standards Institution (BSI).

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The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is a business catalyst in Europe, removing trade barriers for European stakeholders such as industry, 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 organizations are involved in the CEN network that reaches over 480 million people.

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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.

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Media Contacts:

CEN and CENELEC Elisabeth Brodthagen Unit Manager - Communication Tel.: +32 2 519 68 90 E-mail: