The Role of European Standardisation within the framework of EU legislation

Published: 30 January 2004

Policies & Issues: Internal Market - Compliance, Standards & Enforcement

ORGALIME position paper commenting on the Commission draft working document (November 2003)

In this position paper draft in response to a Web based consultation of the European Commission, Orgalime states its belief that European standardisation together with the New Approach has provided a boost to the competitiveness of the European engineering industry and has enabled our industry, by establishing a strong home base on the internal market, to strengthen its capacity to operate on world markets. It is therefore, in our opinion, one of the cornerstones of reaching the Lisbon objectives.

It is acknowledged that the changing conditions for the European standardisation indeed call for a review of its objectives, scope and needs.

While generally welcoming many measures suggested by the Commission, Orgalime has concerns about the risk that they will lead to more centralisation of the European standardisation system and in consequence a weakening of the national standardisation bodies.

In our opinion, the Commission’s objective should be to take up the political task of promoting the use of international standards.

We also fear that the standardisation community when seeking to fulfil the new requirements of so-called "societal needs", will do so without the possibility for industry to optimise and to introduce added value in the process or in the products.

Orgalime believes that a review and amendment of the current legislative framework of European standardisation should be evaluated very carefully before embarking on it.

Indeed, a Commission communication promoting "more extensive use of European standardisation" should also include a very strong commitment from the Commission to keep the standardisation process voluntary and the ESOs independent.

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