PRESS RELEASE - TIME TO DELIVER: EUROPEAN STANDARDS SUPPORT THE PORTUGAL PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EU 

Brussels/Lisbon, 18 January 2021 - As responses to the COVID-19 crisis have shown, European standards play a fundamental role in contributing to the EU’s economic and social well-being. Now it is time for Europe to look to the future and deliver on its promises to achieve a fair, green and digital economy. European standardization is in the frontline to contribute to the ambitions of the new Portuguese Presidency of the EU. 

CEN and CENELEC welcome the new Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU, which officially started on 1 January. Under the motto "Time to act: for a fair, green and digital recovery", Portugal is committed to lead the European Union to become more resilient, global, greener, fair and more digital.

The COVID-19 outbreak has wreaked unprecedented havoc across Europe. For us to recover, a collective effort is needed to provide innovative and long-term solutions. The Portuguese Presidency has therefore put the EU Recovery Plan at its core.

European Standards (ENs) are an effective tool for powering Europe’s recovery and central to address challenges in many sectors, from the green and digital transition to making Europe more resilient. European standards played a crucial role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to provide the necessary solutions Europe needs to recover and boost its economy.

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and their Portuguese National Member, the Portuguese Institute for Quality (IPQ), highlight the essential contribution that European standards make to the Portuguese Presidency’s priorities and to the long-term growth of Europe.

In particular, European standardization can provide valuable support to the priorities identified by the Portuguese Presidency: 

  • Digital Europe. The CEN and CENELEC communities are committed to help Europe reap the benefit of new technologies such as AI, IoT and 5G. Among CEN and CENELEC’s efforts regarding digitalization and new technologies are the recent establishment of CEN-CLC/JTC 19 on Blockchain and DLTs, the ongoing work on cybersecurity and for an ethical AI, or the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Digital Transformation, which aims to create standards fit for the digital age. We are looking forward to exploring, together with the Portuguese Presidency, on the next steps.
  • Green Europe. The commitment of European standardization to the Green Transition is long-standing: as an example, two dedicated special bodies, the CEN-CENELEC Strategic Advisory Body for Environment (SABE) and CENELEC/TC 111X ‘Environment’ have been set up to ensure that environmental considerations are always taken into account in standardization work. Furthermore, CEN and CENELEC recently published a policy paper highlighting how standards support the Green Deal commitments.
  • Global Europe. European standards support international trade, reduce trade barriers and help 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.
  • Resilient and Social Europe. European standardization makes the Single Market a reality. Agreed standards ensure that it is easier, more sustainable and safer for citizens, companies and public institutions to access and trade goods and services.

“The European Standardization System is based on a voluntary and inclusive approach, which has already shown its strength in supporting the EU’s policy objectives”, commented Elena Santiago Cid, CEN and CENELEC’s Director General. ”The standardization community is ready to engage, in the full spirit of the New Legislative Framework, to power Europe’s quick and sustained recovery: CEN and CENELEC are ready to engage with the Portuguese Presidency to help Europe deliver on its promises”.

António Mira dos Santos, President of the Portuguese Institute for Quality, said: “We know that standardization has played a strategic role in strengthening of the European Single Market and the competitiveness of industry and enterprises. One of the Government´s main lines of action for the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU is to accelerate the digital transformation at the service of citizens and businesses for a Digital Europe. IPQ as National Standardization Body has been working closely with the Portuguese Government on initiatives that contribute to accelerating the digital transformation as a driver of economic recovery and promote the European leadership in innovation and in the digital economy.”

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