SBS welcomes Commission’s Standardisation Strategy focus on SMEs and inclusiveness

SBS welcomes Commission’s Standardisation Strategy focus on SMEs and inclusiveness

SBS welcomes Commission’s standardisation Strategy focus on SMEs and inclusiveness

Brussels, 2 February 2022 – Today, the European Commission published the standardisation Strategy outlining a series of actions aimed at ensuring standards support a resilient, green and digital Single Market and EU’s competitiveness. Small Business Standards (SBS), the European organisation representing SMEs in standardisation, welcomes the proposed strategy and its focus on increasing the inclusiveness and involvement of SMEs in national, European and international standardisation.

The strategy is part of a package including a report on the implementation of Regulation 1025/2012 on European standardisation, a proposal for an amendment to the Regulation and the 2022 Annual Union Work Programme for European standardisation.

The strategy calls on the European Standards Organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI) to make proposals by the end of 2022 to modernise their governance to ensure a better representation of SMEs, civil society and users. In addition to the proposed amendment, the Commission will launch a revision of the Regulation on European standardisation in the second quarter of 2022. If the measures adopted by the European Standards Bodies (ESOs) are considered insufficient, the Commission may consider a revision of the Regulation.

The strategy also stresses the need to facilitate the involvement of SMEs at national level, to improve the access to standardisation developments and standards themselves. Member States are also encouraged to facilitate the participation of SMEs and other societal stakeholders in the development of international standards in line with the ambition to increase Europe’s influence in international standardisation.

SBS welcomes all these aspects of the strategy aiming at increasing the inclusiveness of the European standardisation system and the representation of SMEs at the national, European and international standardisation levels. SBS also welcomes the fact that the strategy does not propose a complete revision of the Regulation but rather focuses on a more effective implementation of its provisions.

The aim of the strategy to work on improving the system for the development, assessment and citation of harmonised standards together with all the actors involved is also supported by SBS. To be able to keep their competitiveness and scale-up, SMEs need up to date standards that allow them to benefit from the presumption of conformity with EU legal requirements.

The strategy also promises to work on a horizontal approach on the criteria and processes for the development by the Commission of common specifications via implementing acts, which have been included in recent proposals such as the proposal for a Machinery Regulation. SBS had expressed concerns about such provisions in the past and welcomes the intention of the Commission to clarify the conditions under which such an approach would be followed. SBS believes this should always be a last resort measure and subject to stakeholders’ involvement, including SMEs, in the drafting process.

Finally, SBS also welcomes the creation of a High-Level Forum with the participation of SMEs and other stakeholders to help set priorities, advise on future standardisation needs and coordinate effective representation of European interests in standardisation.

The publication of the strategy was preceded by a consultation in summer 2021 to gather the views of the stakeholder community to which SBS responded with a position paper highlighting the key points to be considered to ensure the strategy would meet SMEs’ needs.

Commenting on the strategy, SBS Secretary General Maitane Olabarria, said “Although there have been advances towards inclusiveness, there is still room for improvement. The strategy reflects many of the points we had put forward and represents a real opportunity to increase the effective participation of SMEs in standardisation. SBS is looking forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure the right conditions are in place.”


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.