All of the products and services we buy and use in our everyday lives have to meet certain standards of safety and quality. In Europe, these standards are developed and agreed by the three officially recognized European Standardization Organisations: the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
The close collaboration between CEN and CENELEC was consolidated at the start of 2010 by the creation of a common CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC) in Brussels.
By setting common standards that are applied across the whole of the European single market, CEN and CENELEC ensure the protection of consumers, facilitate cross-border trade, ensure the interoperability of products, encourage innovation and technological development, include environmental protection and enable businesses to grow. Products and services that meet these European Standards (ENs) can be offered and sold in all of the participating countries.
CEN and CENELEC bring together the national standards agencies of 33 countries. Our network involves business federations, commercial and consumer organisations, environmental groups and other societal stakeholders. More than 60,000 technical experts from industry, research, academia and other backgrounds are directly involved in our work.
Together, CEN and CENELEC provide a platform for the development of European Standards and other technical specifications across a wide range of sectors. We work closely with the European Commission to ensure that standards correspond with any relevant EU legislation.
CEN and CENELEC also cooperate with respectively the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to reach agreements on common standards that can be applied throughout the whole world, thereby facilitating international trade.