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SBS shares its views on inclusiveness during the European Parliament public hearing

The European Parliament is drafting a report in response to the publication of the package on standardisation by the European Commission in June 2016. In this context, the Parliament organised a public hearing on 26 January, hosted by MEP Marlene Mizzi.
SBS Director Christel Davidson was invited to present the views of SMEs. She stressed that it was important for SMEs to be better included at all the levels of the standardisation process (national, European and international). While she acknowledged that some progress had been made, she insisted on the fact that there is potential for further improvement. Ms. Davidson therefore called on the National and European Standardisation Organisations to reach out more to SMEs and their representatives.
Furthermore, Ms. Davidson also shared the reservations of SBS as regards standards for services. It is not always necessary to develop European or international standards for services as these are often provided locally and respond to a specific local context.
BS extends its sectoral approach to lifts 

Some sectors face more challenges as regard standards and require a specific focus. Therefore, as of 2017, SBS will cover a third sector under its sectoral specific approach. For the past two years, the sectoral approach has focused on construction and ICT and will now be extended to lifts. The activities will be carried out by SBS member association EFESME, the European voice of SMEs for the lift industry. This sector consists largely of small companies, i.e. installers, contractors, manufacturers and/or component producers. SBS has been present from the outset in technical committees focusing on lifts at CEN and ISO level through its technical experts. With this new sectoral approach, the association wants to raise awareness among SMEs about developments in standardisation for lifts and enhance their involvement in the standardisation process. The activities of EFESME will focus on the revision of all harmonised standards in support of the lift directive according to the new standardisation request to CEN TC 10 by the European Commission and on the development of suitable technical reports and technical specifications within ETSI to support the digitisation of the after-sales service business in the sector. In all technical activities carried out by EFESME, the Federation will take into account not only the SMEs represented but also the direct impact of safety standards on the daily life of citizens.
As demonstrated in various studies and reported in the July Implementation Report of the European Commission, the simplification measures for SMEs have been taken up to a limited extent only. Thus, on the occasion of the second Technical Platform on the CPR (18 January 2017), the Commission presented potential solutions to be explored when “considering the possible revision” of the CPR. These include the possibility of avoiding a revision of the simplified procedures (Articles 5, 37 & 38) and instead, having more guidance to understand and implement these procedures better.
Furthermore, the European Builders Confederation (EBC) voiced the concerns of construction SMEs about a possible revision of the Construction Products Regulation at the public hearing organised by MEP Catherine Stihler in the Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament at the end of January.
Need for preliminary analyses prior to acceptance of new standardisation requests 
Tourism sector – ISO TC 228
SBS, through its expert in the tourism sector Christian Vanik, will be present at the kick-off meeting of the newly created WG14 of ISO TC 228, which will focus on “Accessible Tourism for all”. The first meeting will pay particular attention to collecting existing material and practices on accessible tourism across countries. The aim is to make as much use as possible of already existing material in order to avoid redundancies.
In October 2016, SBS addressed ISO TC 228 on this matter by sending a letter to the TC secretariat. In that letter, SBS highlighted that SMEs, which have already invested a lot in accessibility in the last years, are the most vulnerable players with regard to costs/investments when discussing new requirements and/or standards. SBS warns also that accessibility should be a concern of other sectors as well, such as public transport, public infrastructures and shopping facilities.
SBS remains committed to playing a constructive role in the efforts of “Accessible Tourism for All” and will accordingly take an active part in the newly created WG14.


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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.