The annual Union work programme for European standardisation for 2020 identifies priorities for European standardisation. It sets out the specific objectives and policies for European standards and standardisation deliverables in the coming period and lists the type of actions the Commission intends to take. These actions on European standardisation are embedded in Union policies, such as the digital and single markets, energy efficiency & climate and international trade. Standards support these policies to ensure that European products and services are competitive worldwide and reflect state-of-the-art safety, security, health and environmental considerations. The work programme also outlines the actions that the Commission intends to initiate during 2020 to improve the governance, inclusiveness and international impact of the European standardisation system (ESS).
Harmonised standards: Enhancing transparency and legal certainty for a fully functioning Single Market - Related Opinions
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.