Brussels, 9 April 2019 - In view of the upcoming European elections on 23-26 May, CEN and CENELEC published the Declaration “Standards Build Trust” to highlight the contribution standards make to achieve the priorities of European policy-making.

European standards developed by CEN and CENELEC have an important role to play in ensuring the European Union, the world’s largest economy, meets today and tomorrow’s technological and societal challenges. Through a consensus-based and inclusive system, the European Standardization System brings together the expertise of Europe’s businesses, societal stakeholders, consumers, SMEs and policy makers to develop up-to-date and widely adopted standards.

With more than 24 000 European Standards, CEN and CENELEC are key players to support the harmonisation of Europe’s internal market. One European Standard is adopted identically in 34 countries, thus streamlining access to the Single Market and reducing red tape. Through this unique aspect of the European Standardization System, standards support Europe’s priorities through improving business performance, reducing costs and creating consumer trust.

CEN and CENELEC’s Declaration, which has been officially launched today, 9 April 2019, highlights the important contribution of European standardization in supporting the objectives of policy makers: from AI to sustainable energy, up to smart appliances and blockchain, Europe will need in the coming years to make many important decisions to remain competitive in the world. Standards help achieve this goal.

Five priorities for Europe’s future

CEN and CENELEC have identified five strategic priorities on which standards can provide effective support to the European policymaking in the coming years:

  • A harmonised Single Market. By reducing bureaucracy, standards create value for industry while offering a cost-efficient and easier way to show product compliance with EU law.
  • A competitive European industry ready to lead in international trade. European Standards support Europe’s technological change while promoting European interests in international standards, thanks to their strong collaboration with and within ISO and IEC, the international standardization organizations.
  • Trust in new technology. Standards provide European best practices to lead the digital transformation of society with citizens’ interests in mind.
  • Enhanced innovation for Europe. Through the recently approved Strategic Innovation Plan, CEN and CENELEC enable research and scientific results to reach the market.
  • The Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda. Standards help implementing the sustainable use of resources and energy while protecting consumers, workers and the environment.

Working together for Europe

The Declaration is the most recent step in a long tradition of public-private cooperation in Europe: in their standardization work, CEN and CENELEC have always worked together with the European institutions. One of the most evident areas of cooperation is harmonised standards: these are standards that are developed with the aim to support compliance to the European Union (EU) legislation under the “New approach”. Harmonised standards contribute to ensuring the EU’s longstanding role as a global economic leader.

Additional activities undertaken by CEN and CENELEC together with the European Commission include:

  • The ‘Inter-Institutional Dialogue’ on European standardization, gathering together high-level representatives of the European institutions, as well as officers from CEN and CENELEC, representatives of industry associations and civil society organisations, to discuss how European standardisation can support a smart, innovative and sustainable industry;
  • The REFIT exercise, the European Commissions’ regulatory fitness and performance programme. As part of this exercise, REFIT in October 2017 produced an opinion on the implementation of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), calling for the quicker and more efficient citation of harmonised standards;
  • The Joint Initiative on Standardization (JIS), with representatives from CEN and CENELEC and their National Standardization Members. Based on this already fruitful collaboration, CEN and CENELEC, together with their 34 national members, are eager to continue working with the next European Commission and MEPs to help make Europe smarter, fairer, more sustainable and more trustworthy for all citizens. The voluntary-based, flexible and inclusive European Standardization System is a strategic asset and an effective tool for the EU to successfully meet the challenges of the future.

Join the campaign in the coming months through the dedicated hashtag #TrustStandards

To find out more about the CEN and CENELEC Declaration, visit  

Standards Build Trust












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