The EESC welcomes the coordinated plan and calls for urgency in its implementation. To succeed in global competition, the EU must be at the forefront in innovation and investment, following the principle of "human in command" and trustworthiness of AI.
Inclusiveness of the European Standardisation System - Related Opinions
A European standardisation system that functions well contributes to overall economic growth, supports innovation and global competitiveness of the European industry. It also helps to ensure that the levels of safety, health and consumer and environmental protection set out in Union legislation are met in practice. It also facilitates market access while contributing to a continuous deepening of the Single Market and providing the necessary legal certainty.
The key to maximising the positive impact of standardisation is to develop synergies inside the European standardisation system, taking into account also the international dimension and the inclusiveness of standardisation.
The Internet of Things (IoT), thanks to its interconnectivity of persons and objects, offers a vast range of opportunities for individuals and businesses. These opportunities must be backed by a series of safeguards and controls so as to ensure introduction of the IoT is problem-free. With this opinion the EESC aims to promote awareness-raising and digital capacity-building initiatives and calls inter alia on the European institutions and EU Member States to ensure that security and privacy are protection by building appropriate regulatory frameworks that contain strict monitoring and control provisions.
The Committee welcomes the 2018 standardisation programme, in particular social and environmental actions, but recommends that in future versions a summary of compliance with previous programmes be included. The Committee highlights the role of the Commission in the European Standardisation System, which is essential for the development of the internal market and places the EU as a world leader in this field. The Committee could, as a priority, create an ad hoc forum on the inclusiveness of the European Standardisation System to foster dialogue between all standardisation actors and civil society.
The EESC considers that a new vision is imperative in order to establish a European Standardisation System (ESS) able to adapt to constantly changing international circumstances and deliver increasing benefits to businesses, consumers, workers and the environment alike.
In this opinion, the EESC wishes to focus most of its efforts on the transparency and inclusiveness of the European standardisation system (ESS) and proposes concrete measures, such as: to grant the Annex III organisations specific member/partner status, with particular rights and obligations; to introduce free access to “mirror committees” for SMEs and societal stakeholders; to create an ad hoc forum on the inclusiveness of the ESS responsible for organising an annual public hearing to assess progress made in this regard.