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WORLD STANDARDS DAY, 14 October 2010


15 Oct 2010


Regional Policy
Public Affairs
Innovation & Enterprise
Health & Consumers
EU Priorities 2020

Brussels, 14 October 2010

Every year on 14 October, we celebrate World Standards Day. This annual celebration of standardisers worldwide pays tribute to the work of millions of experts who endeavour to make life safer. The day was initially promoted by International Standards Organizations (ISO, IEC & ITU), but is also recognised and celebrated by regional and national standards makers in a show of cross-boundary cooperation to enhance technical harmonization.

This year’s World Standards Day theme is “Standards make the world accessible for all”. CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, and CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, contribute in their everyday work to make this statement happen. Accessibility is gaining more importance as already 10% of the European citizens suffer from some kind of disability, which represents at least 40 millions Europeans. Globally, some 650 million people are affected by disability.
With a growing ageing population, standards definitely have their place next to policy to integrate accessibility in the development of new technological products. Any one can have a special need at any time in their life. Standards should be designed in such a way that they can be incorporated into daily life.

European Commission World Standards Day 2010 Conference
At the occasion of the World Standards Day, the European Commission held its annual Conference on standardization on 12 October 2010 in Brussels. The topic for this year’s conference was “Accessibility for All”, thus aligning on the topic chosen at the international standardization level. Participants to the event were representatives from industry, public authorities, accessibility experts and persons representing disability groups.
The event highlighted how European Standards are key enablers for accessibility, as they enhance quality of life and help to include disabled persons in society on equal terms. Persons with disabilities constitute a growing market, an opportunity for industry to create new innovative accessible products. Standards have a role to play in bringing coherence to the market. Addressing accessibility issues is considered by some as a burden on industry, whilst products developed for people with disabilities can actually provide new ideas for mainstream products. Developing accessible products and services should, therefore, be considered as potential for spin-offs. Better awareness on accessibility issues for engineers and standards developers is needed and more training and support should be given.

During the closing address, Mr Malcom Harbour, Member of the European Parliament chairing the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), highlighted the importance of standards in facilitating international trade and pleaded for more cooperation with the US colleagues for accessible products. Mr Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner of the Directorate General Industry and Enterprise, concluded by congratulating the choice of accessibility as the topic of this year’s World Standards Day as being an important signal for the freedom of European citizens.

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Media Contacts :
CEN-CENELEC Celine Oeyen Manager Communication Tel.: +32 2 519 68 85 E-mail: