30 years of standards supporting the Single Market: join CEN and CENELEC’s campaign

In 2023, the European Single Market celebrates its 30th anniversary. Since its creation in 1993, the Single Market has established itself as one of the EU’s greatest and most brilliant achievements: by facilitating trade across borders, reducing red tape, and ensuring the same levels of safety and quality, it has helped make everyday life easier for people and businesses, fuelling jobs and growth across the EU.

European standards (ENs) have played a big role in determining the success of the Single Market. Thanks to a unique standardization system based on consensus and inclusion, European standards ensure clarity and consistency for the trade of goods and services across Europe, providing confidence for businesses and consumers when buying or selling across different members states.


Furthermore, a special type of standards, so-called Harmonised standards (hENs), are developed upon request of the European Commission to provide presumption of conformity to EU legislation, and thus help businesses comply with EU regulations. In this way, European Standards have contributed to ensure that European products meet the highest standards of quality and safety for every EU consumer. Standards build trust in the Single Market.


CEN and CENELEC, as two of the official European standardization organizations (ESOs), have always been committed to the well-functioning of the Single Market: their combined portfolio of around 24.000 standards in all sectors has proven instrumental in helping European businesses trade, innovate and increase their competitiveness. European standards have supported everything, from toy safety to lifts, up to, more recently, the decision to adopt a common charger for electronics.


This role has also been highlighted by the European Commission in the new European Standardization Strategy, and by the European Parliament in a resolution that "underlines the importance of European standards and European standardization deliverables for the single market, the competitiveness of European industry and for the safety and security of citizens".


For this reason, we are happy to join the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Single Market.


Throughout the year, we are launching a multimedia communication campaign dedicated to exploring the role of standards in powering the Single Market.


The campaign will be an opportunity not only to celebrate past successes, but also to reflect on how the staying power of the Single Market – and of standards – is evolving to address Europe’s future challenges, from climate change to the digital transition.


In the coming months, together with our wider community, we plan to regularly publish, on this website and on social media, a variety of content: from longer in-depth articles to quicker, social-media friendly snippets, the aim of the campaign is to explore the different aspects of the relation between standards and the European Single Market and raise awareness on its importance for the present and future well-being of Europe.


All publications part of the series will be regularly added to this page: 


In the meantime, if you are interested in taking part to the campaign, you can join it through the dedicated hashtag #SingleMarket30. Or you can directly contact us at media@cencenelec.eu for proposals of collaboration!


More information on the Single Market’s 30 years celebrations can be found on the website of the European Commission.



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