STANDARDS ARE KEY FOR THE GREEN DEAL: SUCCESSFUL WORKSHOP ORGANISED BY THE GERMAN PRESIDENCY OF THE EU COUNCIL 

Brussels, 18 September 2020 - On 16 September, CEN and CENELEC officers participated to the virtual workshop “Empowering European Standardisation for a Successful Green Deal”, organised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in the framework of the German Presidency of the EU Council. The event saw the participation of European Commissioner Thierry Breton, together with a series of high level speakers coming from the European and national institutions, business, the standardization community and civil society.

Over the course of two and a half hours, the panelists discussed on the following questions, among others: in which areas does standardization need to fill gaps to contribute to the green transformation of the EU economy? What challenges does the system of European harmonised standards face? And what solutions are available to ensure that the European Standardization System can continue to be successful and effective?

The event was opened by Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, who called for a strong and less bureaucratic European Standardization System for a successful Green Deal. The State Secretary also welcomed CEN and CENELEC’s initiatives in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to make norms and standards available free of charge.

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, stressed that standards will be one of the fundamental elements of the so-called "twin transition", i.e. the green and digital transformation of the economy in the context of the Green Deal. "European stakeholders must be vigilant and actively participate in standardization, whether at European, international or global level", said Mr Breton. He continued by urging the standards organisations to work closely with the European Commission to revitalise the European standardization system, so that European industry can take an even stronger and more successful leadership in new technologies.

Dany Sturtewagen, CENELEC’s President, gave a presentation on the “60 years of successes of CEN and CENELEC’s contribution”. In recognising the values at the heart of the European Standardization System – transparency, inclusiveness, openness and consensus -, Mr Sturtewagen argued their relevance also in facing future challenges. “A solid and reliable European Standardization System is one of the key assets for an ambitious twin transition, and for the recovery and resilience of Europe”, he said. “Reinforcing and widening the application of the New Legislative Framework principles, is a fundamental keystone for the well-functioning of the Single Market and constitutes a powerful lever for Europe’s economic rejuvenation, especially in times of crisis.”

The first panel of the day, moderated by Wolfgang Niedziella, Managing Director of the VDE Group and President-Elect of CENELEC, with Joaquim Nunes de Almeida, Deputy Director General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) at the European Commission, MEP Andreas Schwab, Elisabeth Stampfl-Blaha, Managing Director Austrian Standards, Rada Rodriguez, President of Orgalim, and Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope, discussed current challenges for European standardization. Recognising the value added of standardization for the Single Market, participants expressed the desire to improve European Standardization System in order to quickly and adequately support the objectives of European technological sovereignty, the twofold ecological and digital change and economic recovery.

The second panel dealt more specifically with how standards can support the Green Deal. The panel was composed by Clara de la Torre, Deputy Director-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) at the European Commission, Henrike Hahn, Member of the European Parliament, Monique Goyens, Director-General of BEUC, Christoph Wendker, Head of Technical Product Management and Environmental Unit at Miele, and Dr. Marcus Wirtz, Managing Partner of JÖST GmbH + Co. KG, under the moderation of Christoph Winterhalter, Chairman of DIN e.V. and Vice-President Policy of CEN. The panel discussion showed a clear desire for a bottom-up approach: the Commission should set clear objectives, but the procedural details should be left to the experts in standardization. The faster standardization works, the sooner products can be exported and give the European economy an international edge.

Kerstin Jorna, Director General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) at the European Commission, concluded the seminar by praising the flexibility of the standardization organisations in the fight against the pandemic. She supported the ideas from the panels for greater cooperation between policy-makers and standardization and the development of a master plan for the Green Deal. She concluded by saying that “standards are sexy!”.

The outcome of the event will feed into ongoing discussions on the future of the European Standardization System.

More information on the workshop can be found on the dedicated website or on the webpage of DIN, the German National Standardization Body and on the webpage of DKE, the German Electrotechnical Commission.

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