The European Commission intends to propose by the end of 2020 a new European Consumer Agenda setting out the main consumer policy priorities in the EU for the years to come. The overall aim is to take stock of a number of trends affecting consumer
markets and the related challenges. Incidents linked to Covid-19 have further highlighted some of these trends, for example the increasing use of online sales channels and the need to ensure safety for consumers in this context.
One of the main aims of the European Union, through its consumer safety legislation, is to ensure that only safe products are available on the European single market. European standards (EN) have always had a huge role to play in fulfilling this ambition.
This important role is highlighted in a recent Position Paper, drafted and published by CEN and CENELEC in response to a stakeholder’s consultation launched by the European Commission on the General Product Safety Directive.
In the paper, CEN and CENELEC point out how standards complement EU legislation to ensure product safety: they develop European Standards covering a wide range of products and more than 60 European Standards are cited in the Official Journal of the European Union in the frame of the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC).
Furthermore, the strength of European standards is due to their specific character: they are market-driven and facilitate the smooth implementation of European policies and legislation. Having one single standard, created with the consensus of all interested parties and adopted across the European Market, instead of 34 conflicting national standards, helps significantly to ensure common levels of safety, security and sustainability.
The policy paper also highlights the new safety challenges posed by new technologies and digitalisation. In order to meet such challenges, CEN and CENELEC argue, integrated cooperation between standardization organizations and European policy makers is needed.
The full policy paper can be found at this link.
For more information, please contact Claire DALIER.