European Commission takes steps to modernise standardization policy

07-06-2016 The European Commission presents its vision on how European standard setting should evolve in the light of technological developments, political priorities and global trends. It also announces next steps on the Joint Initiative on Standardization (JIS), which aims to reinforce the partnership between the European institutions and the standardization community.

From the A4 paper size to GSM technology, standards reduce costs, promote innovation, ensure interoperability between different devices and services, and help companies to access markets. Largely voluntary and industry-driven, European standards need to keep pace with the changing economy, the increasing importance of services, and the digital revolution. Today the European Commission has adopted a Communication, announced in the Single Market Strategy, to ensure that Europe remains a global hub for standardization.

Often seen as merely technical issue, standards are important economic drivers. Today's Communication presents a vision for a single and coherent EU standardization policy which features higher on the political agenda and where the priorities are regularly discussed with the European Parliament and the Member States.

Joint Initiative on Standardization

Today’s package includes a Commission decision providing the framework for the Joint Initiative on Standardization (JIS), which will be formally launched by all partners on 13 June in Amsterdam under the Dutch Presidency of the EU. The JIS will bring together European and national standardization organisations and bodies, industry, SMEs, consumer associations, trade unions, environmental organisations, Member States and the Commission. These partners will commit to modernising, prioritising, and speeding up the timely delivery of standards by the end of 2019.

The proposal for a 2017 work programme for European standardization identifies the services and ICT sectors as priority areas for future standard-setting, given their cross-cutting role in the economy. In April 2016, the Commission already proposed concrete measures to speed up the ICT standard setting process by focusing on five priority areas: 5G, cloud computing, internet of things, data technologies and cybersecurity. Now, the Commission recommends a renewed focus on the services sector.

Want to know more?

Read here the complete press release and the quotes of Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, and Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

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