Annual Report 2022

Annual Report 2022

Welcome to the SBS annual report for 2022.

I would like to start by thanking the members of the Board for placing their trust and confidence in my abilities to assume the mandate of President of Small Business Standards for another four years. As we reflect on the challenging year that has been 2022 for the EU economy, SBS’ journey has been marked by a series of achievements and milestones in the pursuit of a European standardisation system that ensures the participation of all stakeholders, including SMEs. The European standardisation package, a series of measures published by the European Commission in February, should be mentioned as one of the main highlights this year.

The package aims to ensure global leadership of European standards, promoting the EU’s values while building a resilient, green and digital single market. SBS has ensured to be involved in every step of the initiative by participating in different meetings, such as an EESC hearing and meetings with MEPs, and publishing its position on the EU Standardisation Strategy and the technical amendment to Regulation 1025/2012 and a joint Annex III organisations’ recommendations to improve the ESOs’ governance and inclusiveness. The improved reference to inclusion and the role of national stakeholders in the final text should be considered as an important achievement.

Moreover, SBS was invited to participate in the High-Level Forum on standardisation created in September. The Forum is an important step towards more inclusiveness and transparency and will be crucial in setting European standardisation priorities and developing and implementing standardisation work. It is also noteworthy that SBS got involved in STAND4EU, a Horizon Europe-funded project that recognises the role of standards in bridging the gap between research and the market by increasing the probabilities of market uptake of technological innovations. Regarding sector-specific activities, SBS has closely followed the developments about the Commission proposal for a new Construction Products Regulation and monitored the developments in artificial intelligence, the Data Act and digital standards in support of the EU’s green and digital transition.

Additionally, the SBS lift sector carried out a study to assess the feasibility of European standards on lift modifications. As for the SBS PPE and textile care sector, the work revolved around the development of a first draft standard with eco-design requirements for PPE garments. Finally, SBS organised the ICT, lift and PPE and textile care fora and a webinar on smart textiles to raise awareness of the relevant policy and standardisation developments in these sectors. To continue with awareness-raising activities, communication has been central to SBS’ work of strengthening the SMEs’ voice within the standardisation community.

SBS organised a successful webinar on the Standardisation Strategy and another one on the Accessibility Act and contributed to high-profile events organised by the EU and US Trade Technology Council and the WTO reflecting on SMEs’ participation in international trade.

SBS further raised the voice of SMEs with its annual event held in June focusing on the Sustainable Product Initiative proposed by the European Commission in March. In 2022, SBS not only delivered on the ambitious objectives of its work programme but also continued to expand its work to new activities. The year ahead holds the promise of new opportunities in which we will need to ensure that future standardisation developments reflect the European level of ambition and support the international competitiveness of our SMEs. Together with a strong network of experts, members and partners, we get on to the next chapter of the SBS journey driven by a vision of a resilient and sustainable future which, at the same time, guarantees SMEs’ opportunity to innovate and grow. Gunilla Almgren Small Business Standards President

SHARE

Views and opinions expressed are those of Small Business Standards (SBS) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EFTA. Neither the European Union nor EFTA can be held responsible for them.