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Strengthening the involvement of SMEs in European Standardization

Date

10 Oct 2011

Sections

Trade & Society
Social Europe & Jobs
EU Priorities 2020

Brussels, 7 October 2011 - The SME Standardization Toolkit (SMEST2) project has finalized the evaluation of the first version of the toolkit developed in 2009 and 2010. Based on the results and recommendation of SMEST1 an improved toolkit is currently being developed. Further analysis will be made of the standardization activities and potential benefits of standardization to SMEs.

The SME Standardization Toolkit (SMEST2) project started in January 2011 to strengthen and promote the links between SMEs and standardization in terms of awareness of standardization, information on standardization and participation in standardization. The project will result in a new website which will offer information and guidance for SMEs. The website will give access to an improved toolkit and serve as a platform to exchange knowledge, information, best practices and experiences on the involvement of SMEs in European standardization.

The EC and EFTA are funding the project which is carried out by CEN (European Committee for Standardization), CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization), NORMAPME (European Office of Craft/Trades and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises for Standardization) and the National Standards Bodies of Austria (ASI), Germany (DIN) and The Netherlands (NEN).

As SME associations are a key player in the promotion of standardization among SMEs, it is essential to support them with the necessary information and activities. Starting in October, NORMAPME will carry out an assessment to analyze the current relationship between SME associations and National Standardization Bodies (NSB’s), the existing activities and the potential barriers. The analyses will result in best practices and opportunities of national and European sectorial cooperation. The recommendations will be converted into a leaflet made available in 27 languages to inform national stakeholders and NSB’s on the mutual benefit of the involvement of SMEs in standardization.

More information on the SMEST 2 project is available on the CEN-CENELEC website.

Background

Small businesses play a central role in the European economy. They represent 95% of the business in Europe and provide 55% of the total jobs in the private sector. Standards, within the European market, have played an essential role in the building of the internal market, allowing both manufacturers and consumers to benefit from the elimination of technical barriers to trade while fulfilling the essential safety requirements that standardization has always guaranteed. Adequate stakeholder participation is essential to the European standardization process. However, the representation of SMEs in European standardization is often considered insufficient.

Information SMEST 2

NEN: Tanja van Tooren-Pijpaert

CEN-CENELEC Management Centre: Christine Tack

NORMAPME: Andrea Oel-Brettschneider

About CEN

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 organizations are involved in the CEN network that reaches over 480 million people. For further information, please visit: www.cen.eu

About CENELEC

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 www.cenelec.eu

MEDIA Contact CEN and CENELEC

Christine Van Vlierden

Unit Manager – Communication

Tel: +32 2 550 09 26

Email

SMEs

Christine Tack

Programme Manager Innovation

Tel: +32 2 550 08 23

Email

About NORMAPME

NORMAPME is an international non-profit association created in 1996 with the support of the European Commission, representing over 12 million European Crafts and SMEs in standardisation. As an advisory body, NORMAPME contributes to the development of SME friendly standards. In particular, NORMAPME supports technical experts to participate in Technical Committees of CEN, CENELEC, ETSI and ISO as SME representative. As an awareness raising body, NORMAPME promotes the use of standards among SMEs. NORMAPME believes that the more SMEs get involved in the European Standardisation System, the better standards will be adapted to the specific requirements of SMEs. Membership and cooperation is open to all SME organisations and other organisations that promote SME interests. Detailed information available at www.normapme.eu

MEDIA Contact NORMAPME:

Thomas Ehritz

Press Officer

press@normapme.com

Tel: +32 2 282 05 44

Vanessa Pereira

Project Manager

v.pereira@normapme.com

Tel: +32 2 282 05 32

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