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A strong europe in a world of challenges: european standards support the croatian presidency of the council of the EU


15 Jan 2020



On the 1st January 2020 Croatia took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time. During the next six months, the aim of Croatia is foster the EU’s unity and consensus, ensuring that it is fit to meet the many challenges Europe is currently facing, acting for the benefit of its Member States and citizens.

Under the motto “A strong Europe in a world of challenges”, Croatia has identified four pillars structuring the priorities of its Presidency: a Europe that develops; a Europe that connects; a Europe that protects; an influential Europe. Taken together, these priorities fundamentally shape the vision of a European Union acting for the benefit of its Member States and citizens.

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and their Croatian national member HZN congratulate Croatia for this historic opportunity and highlight the essential contribution that European standards make to the Croatian Presidency’s priorities across a wide range of sectors and topics.

European standards have always played a key role in developing and strengthening the Single Market, making it more sustainable, easier and safer for citizens, companies and public institutions to buy and sell goods and services, to travel across borders and to rely on the same high level of services across Europe.

This role lies at the heart of the CEN and CENELEC Declaration “Standards Build Trust”. The Declaration underlines how standards can help make Europe a competitive, smarter and more sustainable economy for the benefit of all its citizens.

Standards contribute to a stronger, smarter, more sustainable Europe

Ensuring the efficiency of the Single Market is of strategic importance for the EU and its 500 million citizens: it requires a forward-looking approach bringing together digital, competition, industrial and trade policy, and ensuring that innovation is fostered. The European Standardization System (ESS), based on consensus, inclusiveness and on national members, offers really powerful tools to support Europe in meeting current and future challenges.

European Standards effectively contribute to making the Single Market a reality, dismantling barriers to trade and supporting companies to bring to market competitive products and services that are in high demand all over the world. Having one single standard, created with the consensus of all interested parties and adopted across the European Market, instead of 34 national conflicting standards, ensures equal levels of safety, security and sustainability. It is the shared mission of CEN, CENELEC and their National Members to develop standards that are fit for purpose.

One of the main areas for the continuation and deepening of the Single Market to unleash Europe’s growth potential is digitalisation. New technologies, such as IoT and 5G, are dissolving the borders between sectors and pushing more and more business models to move from vertical sectors to horizontal and collaborative approaches. CEN and CENELEC are committed to help Europe reap the benefit of digitalisation, by working to make the standardization system fit for the digital age. Some examples of CEN and CENELEC’s efforts regarding digitalization and new technologies are the recent establishment of a TC on Blockchain and DLTs, the ongoing work on cybersecurity or the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Digital Transformation, which aims to create standards fit for the digital age.

Another area of specific focus for European Standardization is sustainability, in the framework of the recently announced EU Green Deal. The commitment of CEN and CENELEC to protect the environment is strategic: two dedicated special bodies, the Strategic Advisory Body for Environment (SABE) in CEN and TC 111X ‘Environment’ in CENELEC, have recently been set up to ensure that environmental considerations are always taken into account in standardization work.

Furthermore, in a moment in which it is essential for the EU to defend multilateralism and a rule-based international trade system, European Standards support international trade, reducing trade barriers and helping European goods and services access the global market. The strength of the European standardization system lies in its agreements with the international standardization organizations (ISO & IEC) and in the fruitful work undertaken to promote global standards. In their cooperation with ISO and IEC, CEN, CENELEC and their National Members recognise the need to strengthen common efforts to ensure rapid and cost-efficient standardization solutions for all stakeholders.

“The European Standardization System, based on a voluntary and inclusive approach, has already shown its strength in supporting the EU’s policy making efforts”, commented Elena Santiago Cid, CEN and CENELEC Director General. ”The standardization community is ready to cooperate, in the full spirit of the New Legislative Framework: CEN and CENELEC, together with HZN, look forward to engaging with the Croatian Presidency to help Europe deliver on its promise”.



CEN (European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) are recognized by the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as European Standardization Organizations responsible for developing standards at European level.

The members of CEN and CENELEC are the National Standardization Bodies and National Electrotechnical Committees of 34 European countries. European Standards (ENs) and other standardization deliverables adopted by CEN and CENELEC, are accepted and recognized in all of these countries. European Standards (ENs) contribute to enhancing safety, improving quality, facilitating cross-border trade and strengthening the European Single Market. CEN and CENELEC work to promote the international alignment of standards in the framework of technical cooperation agreements with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).

CEN website:

CENELEC website:

CEN-CENELEC website:

Media contact:

Giovanni Collot

Project Manager Strategy & Governance

CEN-CENELEC Management Centre

T: +32 474 98 21 17
Twitter: @Standards4EU


HZN – Croatian Standards Institute 

The Croatian Standards Institute (HZN) is an autonomous public institution established as the national standards body of the Republic of Croatia with a view to accomplishing the following goals of standardization: increasing the safety level of products and processes, protecting human health and lives, environmental protection, promoting the quality of products, processes and services, removing technical barriers to international trade, etc.

HZN's membership in international and European organizations ensures permanent availability of international and European standards in Croatia, the right to adopt them on the national level and the right of participation of Croatian representatives in the development of standards on the international and European levels.

One of HZN's strategic goals is the involvement of all stakeholders in standardization activities and permanently promoting the use of standards with a view to increasing quality and contributing to the competitiveness of Croatian economy.


Media contacts:
Maja Pekeč

Head of International Cooperation and Public Relations

Croatian Standards Institute

T: +385 1 610 60 65


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