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American National Standards Institute ANSI

Standards

European Commission Issues Plans to Modernize EU’s Standardization Policy

Key part of the continent’s Single Market strategy

Published: Monday, July 11, 2016 - 14:20

(ANSI: Washington, D.C.) -- During June 2016, the European Commission released a communications proposal detailing initiatives to modernize the European Union’s standardization policy, in order to keep pace with global technological developments, political priorities, and other international trends. The European Commission intends to modernize the European standardization system in cooperation with industry, European standardization organizations, small and medium enterprises, and all other interested stakeholders. It also announced next steps on the Joint Initiative on Standardization, which aims to reinforce the partnership between the European institutions and the greater standardization community.

Detailed in its Single Market Strategy, the European Commission is focused on a single and coherent European standardization system that “adapts to the changing environment, supports multiple policies, and brings benefits and predictability to consumers and businesses.” Standards, which are strategic assets for boosting competitiveness, also support the service economy and help ensure the quality and safety of products and services.

As outlined in the European Commission’s press release, the plan will serve the standardization community and related stakeholders by:
• Providing greater clarity on service standards and how they can be used;
• Helping the European Commission and standard setters identify problems and gaps where European service standards could be most useful;
• Encouraging more effective and targeted development of European service standards in the areas where they can be most beneficial to businesses and consumers;
• Helping remove and reduce national barriers faced by service providers; and
• Promoting greater awareness of standards.

Along with the proposal the European Commission also reports that the Joint Initiative on Standardization—an innovative dialogue process that unites European and national standardization organizations and bodies, industry and their associations, small and medium enterprises, consumer associations, trade unions, environmental organizations, member states, the European Free Trade Association, and the European Commission—was formally endorsed by all partners on June 13, 2016. The American National Standards Institute is supportive of global partnerships that strengthen international standardization and global trade. The American National Standards Institute has had an ongoing collaborative dialogue with the three European standardization organizations—the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)—for more than two decades, and these relationships have evolved to include the European Commission in recent years [see related coverage]. Additionally, in 2015, following several months of dialogue, the American National Standards Institute and the European standardization organizations released two Q&A documents facilitating a better mutual understanding of the United States and European standardization systems.

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American National Standards Institute ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system, serving the diverse interests of more than 270,000 companies and organizations and 30 million professionals worldwide. ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).