Seminar for DG Environment “European standards for a greener Europe” 

The seminar ‘European standards for a greener Europe’, organised by CEN and CENELEC, took place on the 26th October at DG Environment’s premises. It was the third and last 2017 seminar  for officials of the European Commission within the series ‘The potential of standards in supporting the implementation of EU policies and regulations’. It aimed at increasing knowledge and understanding on the role and values of European standards, their development process and how legislator can use them for the implementation of policies and regulations in the environmental field.

The meeting was attended by a group of thirty EC officials coming from different units of DG ENV such as Sustainable Production, Products & Consumption, Sustainable Chemicals, Waste Management & Secondary Materials, Clean Water, Clean Air, Industrial emissions & safety, Compliance & Better Regulation. Officials from DG CLIMA’s units were also present (Adaptation, ETS Policy Development and Auctioning, International Carbon Market - Aviation and Maritime, and Road Transport).

Hugo Schally, Head of Unit ENV.B1 Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption, opened the seminar by underlining the relevance of standards that are at the core of many EU environmental policies and for this purpose announced that DG ENV will reinforce the coordination on standardization matters in his Unit.

After the presentation of Roman Grones (DG GROW, B3) on the legal framework for standardization and the main features of EU Regulation 1025/2012, CEN and CENELEC gave a lengthy presentation on the role of the European and national standardization organizations and how voluntary market-driven standards may respond to the needs of the legislator and of civil society. Particular emphasis was given on how to improve cooperation between the EC and ESOs before and during the drafting of the Annual Union Work Programme (AUWP) and the issuing of the standardization requests. The various CEN and CENELEC activities on environment-related matters were explained as well as the role of SABE, the Environmental Helpdesk (CEN/EHD) and how the EC may actively participate in the Technical Committees.

An interesting discussion was triggered from the presentation on the smart ways to reference standards in legislation with some clear examples of good and best practices.

ECOS Director, Laura Degallaix, was invited to give a presentation on the role of ECOS in the European Standardization System, including ECOS’s goals, priorities and the main challenges to be faced in order to make the environmental voice heard.

The presentation of Pierre Henri from Unit ENV.B1 highlighted the main priorities and concerns of DG ENV that will be followed up by CEN and CENELEC, such as how to ensure standards are aligned with policy goals, structure an efficient flow of relevant information between DG ENV, and CEN and CENELEC, identify early enough the policies for which standards will be needed and allocate efficiently DG ENV’s resources to follow standardization activities.

For more information on our training initiatives, please contact Alberto Simeoni.

Previous trainings done in 2017: