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European standards contribute to the EU's strategic agenda 2019-2024


25 Jun 2019



At the European Council of 20 June, the 28 heads of state and government of the EU Member States approved the Strategic Agenda for the 2019-2024 period. It constitutes a key indicator of the strategic priorities that will guide the future work of the European Union throughout the coming five years and marks the transition to a new institutional cycle.

The new Strategic Agenda focuses on four main objectives:

  • Protecting citizens and freedoms; 
  • Developing our economic base: the European model for the future;
  • Building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe;
  • Promoting European interests and values in the world.

CEN and CENELEC, as two of the three official European Standardization Organizations (ESOs), welcome the new Strategic Agenda and recognise its value, as the outcome of a profound consultation-exercise on Europe’s challenges and opportunities, involving a wide array of stakeholders.

CEN and CENELEC are keen to highlight the essential contribution that European standards (ENs) make to support the EU’s priorities across a wide range of sectors and topics. Indeed, the European Standardization System (ESS) has proven its potential to support Europe’s priorities in the world.

Standards, a tool to support the EU’s priorities

European standards have always made a key contribution to developing and strengthening the EU Single Market, making it 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. Based on these experiences, CEN and CENELEC believe that standards are crucial to ensure the success of the new EU Strategic Agenda.

The role of standards in implementing the EU’s policy priorities moreover, lies at the heart of the CEN and CENELEC Declaration “Standards Build Trust”, which was officially issued on 9 April 2019. The Declaration underlines how standards can help make Europe a competitive, smarter and more sustainable economy for the benefit of all its citizens. It also points to their important contribution to the Union’s policy objectives and the many strategic decisions the EU institutions stand to make to in the next five years.

A strategic roadmap for Standardization in the name of Europe

Many of the action areas in the work of CEN and CENELEC reflect a clear and close alignment with the priorities identified by the EU leaders in the Strategic Agenda. This includes the following strategic priorities:

  • Developing and strengthening the EU Single Market – recognised as a ‘key asset’ in the agenda - through the development of harmonised standards implementing EU legislation;
  • Promoting an innovation and research-based knowledge economy by implementing our Strategic Innovation Plan, to reduce the fragmentation of the European research and invest in people’s skills and education;
  • Fully embracing the digital transition, by developing trustworthy standards on new technologies, such as AI and blockchain, to ensure that Europe is “is digitally sovereign and obtains its fair share of the benefits of this development”, as the EU leaders put it;
  • Ensuring the energy transition and fostering an environmentally-friendly economic model, helping Europe become a leader in a green economy, through items such as the ongoing work on circular economy and smart energy management;
  • Finally, the Strategic Agenda recognises the need to “promote a level playing field, including in the area of trade”. CEN and CENELEC contribute to increasing the role of Europe as a fundamental global economic player, by facilitating international trade and developing partnerships at the international level.

“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. “In this context, the five priorities identified in our Declaration are the foundation of our promise to provide support to the new legislative agenda in the coming five years. The standardization community is ready to cooperate, in the spirit of the New Legislative Framework, with the EU institutions to help Europe deliver on its promise”.

More information on CEN and CENELEC’s Declaration “Standards Build Trust” can be found on the official website.


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. These standards set out specifications and procedures in relation to a wide range of materials, processes, products and services.

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. They are developed through a process of collaboration among experts nominated by business and industry, research institutes, consumer and environmental organizations, trade unions and other stakeholders. 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




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