Publication of New EU Strategy on Standardisation

Strategy outlining a new European approach to standards within the EU Single Market as well as globally.

The European Union acknowledges that its ambitions towards a climate neutral, resilient and circular economy cannot be delivered without European standards. The EU Strategy on Standardisation aims to strengthen the EU’s global competitiveness, to enable a resilient, green and digital economy and to enshrine democratic values in technology applications.

It proposes five key sets of actions:

  • Anticipate, prioritise and address standardisation needs in strategic areas: The Commission has identified standardisation urgencies as regards COVID-19 vaccine and medicine production, critical raw materials recycling, the clean hydrogen value chain, low-carbon cement, chips certification and data standards
  • Improve the governance and integrity of the European standardisation system: The Commission is proposing an amendment to the Regulation on standardisation to improve the governance in the European standardisation system
  • Enhance European leadership in global standards: A new mechanism with EU Member States and national standardisation bodies will share information, coordinate and strengthen the European approach to international standardisation. The Commission will also pursue more coordination between EU Member States and like-minded partners. The EU will fund standardisation projects in African and the Neighbourhood countries
  • Support innovation: A ‘standardisation booster’ will be launched to support researchers under Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe to test the relevance of their results for standardisation. A standardisation Code of Practice will be developed to strengthen the link between standardisation and research/innovation through the European Research Area (ERA) by mid-2022
  • Enable the next generation of standardisation experts: The Commission will promote more academic awareness on standards, for instance through the future organisation of EU University Days and training of researchers

Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “Technical standards are of strategic importance. Europe’s technological sovereignty, ability to reduce dependencies and protection of EU values will rely on our ability to be a global standard-setter. With today’s Strategy, we are crystal-clear on our standardisation priorities and create the conditions for European standards to become global benchmarks. We take action to preserve the integrity of the European standardisation process, putting European SMEs and the European interest at the centre.”

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Research Policy Newsflash.)