The Council and the European Parliament today reached a provisional political agreement on the proposal to amend the European standardisation regulation.
‘Harmonised standards are of key importance as they enable EU businesses to put harmonised and trustworthy goods on the internal market. I am glad that today we agreed to adapt this regulation. This will help to enhance Europe’s competitiveness and to better promote the green and digital priorities worldwide’.
Jozef Síkela, Czech Minister for Industry and Trade
The regulation lays down procedures for developing harmonised standards within the EU. These harmonised standards make it easier to place products on the single market and thereby strengthen the EU’s competitiveness.
The proposed amendment introduces new requirements for European standardisation organisations (ESOs) to ensure the involvement of national standardisation bodies. Reinforcing the role of national representatives will improve the functioning of ESOs and enhance member states’ representation in their decision-making processes.
The amendment will also ensure the promotion of European values in developing European standards. That is particularly important in view of the ongoing digital transition.
Changes made by the co-legislators
The Council and the European Parliament agreed to slightly amend the Commission’s proposal. For the Council, the most important aspects were:
- to ensure the exclusive participation of representatives of national standardisation bodies in the decision-making processes concerning European standards and European standardisation deliverables
- to confirm the important role of stakeholders in the standardisation process
- to clarify the role of third countries in the decision-making process
Harmonised standards, which are developed at the request of the European Commission by one of the ESOs, are a well-established tool for promoting the technical conformity of products. The standards are open to voluntary, though widespread, use by manufacturers across the EU to comply with the essential requirements for products as defined in EU law.
Although not always visible, European standards are essential in everyday life and play an important role in the internal market. They ensure that products such as toys and household appliances comply with EU law, are interoperable and are safe for citizens and for the environment.
Standards also help to ensure that European products and services, such as batteries and artificial intelligence, comply with data protection and cybersecurity rules and take environmental and other considerations into account.
On 2 February 2022, the Commission presented its proposal for an amendment to the standardisation regulation, together with a new standardisation strategy that outlines an EU approach to standards.
On 13 May 2022, the Council adopted its position on the proposed amendment to the European standardisation regulation.
The provisional agreement reached today is subject to approval by the Council and the European Parliament. On the Council’s side, the provisional political agreement must first be approved by member states’ ambassadors before going through the formal steps of the adoption procedure. The regulation will enter into force on the 20th day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.