CEN and CENELEC published a response to the European Commission’s Communication on Harmonised Standards 

Today, 18 December, CEN and CENELEC released their official response to the European Commission’s Communication COM(2018) 764 ‘Harmonised standards: Enhancing transparency and legal certainty for a fully functioning Single Market’.

The Communication focusses on the interpretation of harmonised standards (hENs) and was published on 22 November as a response to the European Council’ request of  March 2018 to assess the implementation of legislation and the remaining barriers and opportunities to a fully functioning Single Market.

CEN and CENELEC recognise the importance of this debate and are eager to contribute by sharing their expertise of the European standardization system. In particular, CEN and CENELEC welcome the recognition of European Standards’ role in underpinning the European economy, as well as the initiative taken to facilitate European stakeholders to benefit from the use of standards to comply with legislation under the New Legislative Framework (NLF).

Furthermore, through their reply CEN and CENELEC are identifying concrete points of action:

  • support for the specific actions outlined in the Communication, in particular regarding improving the assessment, publication and citation of harmonized standards;
  • request the involvement of standardization stakeholders on an on-going basis in order to streamline the relationship between standards and regulation while preserving the NLF;
  • draw attention to the assumptions resulting from the interpretation of the James Elliot case, which might be incompatible with the voluntary nature of standards and require further discussion, since CEN and CENELEC cannot support these.

CEN and CENELEC also stress the need for a continued and regular dialogue between with the European Commission about the nature of the public-private partnership within the NLF, and propose to continue in 2019 the dialogue on the functioning of the European standardization system with all relevant stakeholders.

The full text can be found on CEN and CENELEC’s website.

For more information, please contact Andreea Gulacsi