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The European Commission publishes the new European standardization strategy

The European Commission has presented the new European Standardization Strategy, which reinforces the key role of technical standards for a resilient, green and digital European single market.

The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, has been in charge of presenting the new strategy, which will allow greater support for European strategic autonomy and competitiveness, facilitating a resilient, ecological and digital economy and the adoption of innovations European companies in the global market through European and international technical standards, in line with the values and interests of the European Union.

The Strategy reaffirms the important role of the European standardization bodies CEN, CENELEC and ETSI, of which theSpanish Standardization Association, UNE, is the Spanish member, in the development of rules that facilitate the maintenance of the Internal Market and the deployment of the Digital and Green Transitions.

Likewise, the Strategy underlines the importance of the principle of national delegation in the development of European standards and the necessary leadership of European members in the development of international standards in ISO and IEC, in areas of strategic priority for institutions and economic agents europeans

Likewise, the Strategy defends the unique character of the European Standardization System, based on markets, inclusive, structured through public-private collaboration, coherent, effective and robust.

Next to the Strategy has been presented the Proposal to amend the Regulations 1025/2012 on standardization, a report on its application and the Work program of the Union on European standardization by 2022.

The European Commission indicates that "the high speed of innovation, our ecological and digital ambitions, and the implication of technological standards for the EU's democratic values require an increasingly strategic approach to standardization. The EU cannot achieve its ambitions in relation to climate neutrality and a resilient and circular economy without European rules. To remain a world leader in standardization, the EU must significantly influence activities in this area and it is crucial that it leads the work in the most important international forums and institutions. By setting standards at global level, the EU manages to transmit its values while providing European companies with the important first-mover advantage.'

There are five main axes of the European standardization strategy:

1. Anticipate, prioritize and address urgent standardization needs in strategic areas: draw up rules more quickly aligned with the European political and innovation agenda. The Commission has identified urgent areas for the development of standards (the production of vaccines and medicines against COVID-19, the recycling of key raw materials, the renewable hydrogen value chain, low-carbon cement, certification of chips, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and data).

In this sense, a high-level forum will be created with the participation of representatives of the Member States, European standardization organizations and national standardization bodies, industry, SMEs, civil society and the academic world that will identify future priorities in the field of normalization. Likewise, the Commission will establish the role of Chief Standardization Officer who will be responsible for providing high-level guidance on standardization activities to all the Commission's services and will coordinate the Hub of Excellence in Standardization.

2. Improve the governance and integrity of the European standardization system: the European system is open, transparent, inclusive and impartial and must fall to the European agents (i.e. the national delegations — the national standardization bodies of the Member States of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) decision on European rules, to limit possible influences by representatives of third countries in the decisions of key sectors, as may be the case of rules on cyber security or hydrogen.

It will be ensured, through a peer review process, to maintain the inclusiveness of the system, so that SMEs, users and civil society, are an active part of the European standardization organizations and the national standardization bodies. In addition, the Commission will publish the evaluation of the Regulation on standardization.

3. Strengthen European leadership in global standards: the high-level forum, together with Member States and national standardization bodies, will establish a mechanism to share information, coordinate and strengthen the European approach in international standardization forums (ISO, IEC and ITU). Likewise, the EU will promote coordination with the regions and countries with which Europe has ongoing dialogues. And it will finance standardization projects in Africa and neighboring countries.

4. Support for innovation: the Commission will launch a "standardisation booster" to highlight innovation projects and anticipate early standardization needs. Analyzed whether the results of the research work should be transferred to standards. A code of good practice on standardization will be developed to strengthen the link between standardization, research and innovation through the European Research Area (ERA).

5. Train the next generation of standardization experts: the development of standards, both at European and international level, is based on the contributions of experts, therefore, the Commission will promote greater academic knowledge about the standards, organizing university and training conferences for researchers.

The Internal Market Commissioner has highlighted that "technical rules are of strategic importance. Europe's technological sovereignty, as well as its ability to reduce dependencies and protect EU values, will depend on our ability to become a global regulatory benchmark. With the strategy presented today, we make clear our priorities in the field of standardization and create the conditions for European standards to become global benchmarks».

Source: ONE