Brussels, 15 January 2020 - On the 1st January 2020 Croatia took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time. During the next six months, the aim of Croatia is foster the EU’s unity and consensus, ensuring that it is fit to meet the many challenges Europe is currently facing, acting for the benefit of its Member States and citizens.

Under the motto “A strong Europe in a world of challenges”, Croatia has identified four pillars structuring the priorities of its Presidency: a Europe that develops; a Europe that connects; a Europe that protects; an influential Europe. Taken together, these priorities fundamentally shape the vision of a European Union acting for the benefit of its Member States and citizens.

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and their Croatian national member HZN congratulate Croatia for this historic opportunity and highlight the essential contribution that European standards make to the Croatian Presidency’s priorities across a wide range of sectors and topics.

European standards have always played a key role in developing and strengthening the Single Market, making it more sustainable, easier and safer for citizens, companies and public institutions to buy and sell goods and services, to travel across borders and to rely on the same high level of services across Europe.

This role lies at the heart of the CEN and CENELEC Declaration “Standards Build Trust”. The Declaration underlines how standards can help make Europe a competitive, smarter and more sustainable economy for the benefit of all its citizens.

Standards contribute to a stronger, smarter, more sustainable Europe

Ensuring the efficiency of the Single Market is of strategic importance for the EU and its 500 million citizens: it requires a forward-looking approach bringing together digital, competition, industrial and trade policy, and ensuring that innovation is fostered. The European Standardization System (ESS), based on consensus, inclusiveness and on national members, offers really powerful tools to support Europe in meeting current and future challenges.

European Standards effectively contribute to making the Single Market a reality, dismantling barriers to trade and supporting companies to bring to market competitive products and services that are in high demand all over the world. Having one single standard, created with the consensus of all interested parties and adopted across the European Market, instead of 34 national conflicting standards, ensures equal levels of safety, security and sustainability. It is the shared mission of CEN, CENELEC and their National Members to develop standards that are fit for purpose.

One of the main areas for the continuation and deepening of the Single Market to unleash Europe’s growth potential is digitalisation. New technologies, such as IoT and 5G, are dissolving the borders between sectors and pushing more and more business models to move from vertical sectors to horizontal and collaborative approaches. CEN and CENELEC are committed to help Europe reap the benefit of digitalisation, by working to make the standardization system fit for the digital age. Some examples of CEN and CENELEC’s efforts regarding digitalization and new technologies are the recent establishment of a TC on Blockchain and DLTs, the ongoing work on cybersecurity or the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Digital Transformation, which aims to create standards fit for the digital age.

Another area of specific focus for European Standardization is sustainability, in the framework of the recently announced EU Green Deal. The commitment of CEN and CENELEC to protect the environment is strategic: two dedicated special bodies, the Strategic Advisory Body for Environment (SABE) in CEN and CLC/TC 111X ‘Environment’ in CENELEC, have recently been set up to ensure that environmental considerations are always taken into account in standardization work.

Furthermore, in a moment in which it is essential for the EU to defend multilateralism and a rule-based international trade system, European Standards support international trade, reducing trade barriers and helping European goods and services access the global market. The strength of the European standardization system lies in its agreements with the international standardization organizations (ISO & IEC) and in the fruitful work undertaken to promote global standards. In their cooperation with ISO and IEC, CEN, CENELEC and their National Members recognise the need to strengthen common efforts to ensure rapid and cost-efficient standardization solutions for all stakeholders.

“The European Standardization System, based on a voluntary and inclusive approach, has already shown its strength in supporting the EU’s policy making efforts”, commented Elena Santiago Cid, CEN and CENELEC Director General. ”The standardization community is ready to cooperate, in the full spirit of the New Legislative Framework: CEN and CENELEC, together with HZN, look forward to engaging with the Croatian Presidency to help Europe deliver on its promise”.

Media contact:
Giovanni Collot
Project Manager Strategy & Governance
CEN-CENELEC Management Centre
Email: gcollot@cencenelec.eu
T: +32 474 98 21 17                                                                                          
Twitter: @Standards4EU