The future of the Single Market: how standards help Europe prepare for the digital challenges of tomorrow

With the fast pace of digitalisation in the modern world, a strong EU Single Market is needed to ensure European consumers and businesses can take advantage of new and innovative technologies. The European Standardization System has already started to build the digital future.

The EU is putting forward policies to strengthen Europe’s capacity in emerging technologies. CEN and CENELEC work on many technology topics, bringing together experts from 34 countries in Europe to collectively tackle technical challenges technologies and contribute to the development of a fully functioning European Digital Single Market.


Some emerging areas in which CEN and CENELEC are building Europe’s digital future:

  • Artificial Intelligence is a key topic to many in Europe. Consumers and businesses in the Single Market are using AI-based apps and software more and more often to enhance productivity. This growing use has also brought concerns from the public.

As a result, the European Commission put forward the Artificial Intelligence Act, which aims to alleviate these fears. The Joint CEN-CENELEC Technical Committee 21 ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is currently developing European Standards in support of a European Commission Standardization Request on AI.

  • As European citizens continue to integrate digital technologies into their daily lives, the chance that their sensitive information is compromised by cyberattacks To ensure that the Digital Single Market is secure, European cybersecurity must continually improve.

CEN and CENELEC’s Joint Technical Committee 13 (CEN-CLC/JTC 13) ‘Cybersecurity and Data Protection’ develops standards to improve the everyday cybersecurity of connected products used by consumers and businesses.

  • Quantum technologies have the potential to transform many European industries and can be used in several areas, such as in space satellites, computing, medical imaging and more.

In 2023, CEN and CENELEC established the Joint-Technical Committee 22 ‘Quantum Technologies’ to produce standardization deliverables in the field of quantum technologies to address European market and societal needs, as well as underpinning EU legislation, policies, principles, and values.

  • Blockchain technology promises to create trust in the digital sphere: it provides a mechanism for people to exchange information without the involvement of a third party. While mainly associated with the exchange of cryptocurrencies, it can also be used in the verification of sensitive documents such as diplomas, medical records, etc.

CEN-CLC/JTC 19 ‘Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies’ is developing a dedicated architecture of standards in Europe, taking current work at ISO and EU policy-related developments into account. The ability to securely transfer information without extra resources going to third parties could be of great benefit to the Single Market: European standards can foster trust in this new technology amongst European consumers and businesses.


These are just some of the examples of cutting-edge technologies that CEN and CENELEC are dedicated to producing innovative standards for. Standards are key in promoting the uptake of new technologies and can ensure the high quality of these new technologies in all corners of the Single Market.


For this reason, CEN and CENELEC are proud to be continually involved in the implementation of many strategic areas of Europe’s technology policy and are committed to helping build the Digital European Single Market, to the benefit of all European companies and citizens.


CEN and CENELEC are proud to contribute to the Single Market, helping Europe achieve its ambitions and promises in the Digital world. Stay tuned to learn more about the different roles standards play in the Single Market with our 30 Years of Standards Supporting the Single Market campaign or join the conversation through the hashtag #SingleMarket30.


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