Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations
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Summary of the initiative
Objective(s):Promote the smooth functioning of the Internal Market; The Directive 98/34/EC provides for procedures when national standard is likely to distort the free movement of goods. The Commission can request harmonisation of the standards at the European level by granting, after consultation with the MS, mandates to the European standardisation bodies. It provides a framework for the interested parties, and encourages consensus on standards. The "New Approach", defined in a Council Resolution of May 1985, represents an innovative way of technical harmonisation. It introduces, among other things, a clear separation of responsibilities between the EC legislator and the European standards bodies CEN, CENELEC and ETSI in the legal framework allowing for the free movement of goods. EC directives define the "essential requirements", e. g. protection of health and safety, that goods must meet when they are placed on the market. The European standards bodies have the task of drawing up the corresponding technical specifications meeting the essential requirements of the directives, compliance with which will provide a presumption of conformity with the essential requirements. Such specifications are referred to as "harmonised standards". The Standing Committee delivers its opinion on the communications and proposals presented by the Commission and may in this connection propose, in particular, that the Commission request the European standards institutions to draw up a European standard within a given deadline. DG ENTR developed an instrument of cooperation in order to promote standardisation and ascertain the availability of the European standards in the legislative fields concerned.