Newsletter – Issue 3 – 2019

Newsletter – Issue 3 – 2019

Three years after it was signed in Amsterdam, the Joint Initiative on Standardisation (JIS), which enables different European stakeholders to share common expectations on standardisation, has now come to an end. To mark the occasion, the Romanian Presidency of the EU organised a high-level conference on European Standardisation in Bucharest on 7 June 2019.

Véronique Willems, Secretary-General of SMEunited, spoke on behalf of SBS on the first panel of the conference: “Views on challenges and opportunities within the Single Market and standardisation beyond 2020.” During her intervention, Ms Willems noted that “the main challenges of standardisation from the SME perspective are the market relevance of standards, the development of standards at an international level and increasing SME participation in the drafting process.” She stressed that to reap the benefits of standardisation, standards should be driven by the market and take SMEs’ perspectives into account.

The JIS was designed to support the priorities of the European Commission by establishing specific actions. SBS was involved in the actions for better inclusion of under-represented stakeholders, such as SMEs and societal stakeholders, in the standardisation process at the national, European and international levels.

Read the Summary of the actions and the leaflet describing the JIS’ vision, achievements and priorities for the coming years.

Competitiveness Council talks about standardisation

In its conclusions of 27 May regarding “EU Industrial Policy Strategy: a vision for 2030”, the Competitiveness Council takes note of the Commission’s communication on “Harmonised standards: Enhancing transparency and legal certainty for a fully functioning Single Market” and encourages all actors to improve inclusiveness, legal certainty and predictability. It also calls upon the Commission to continue its work on the Joint Initiative on Standardisation beyond 2019, particularly in the areas of education on standardisation, raising awareness of the role of standardisation among public authorities and SMEs, and using standards in public procurement. Furthermore, it underlines the importance of the European industry’s role in driving the European standardisation system and strongly recommends promoting the European standardisation system at international level.

In its conclusions regarding “A new level of ambition for a competitive Single Market”, the Council calls to “increase transparency and inclusiveness of the European standardisation system, to improve the process for development and adoption of European standards in order to be better adapted to the need in developing state-of-the-art technical solutions, also in [the] international context.” Lastly, it recommends pursuing the “efforts to eliminate the remaining backlog of harmonised standards that are not yet published in the Official Journal of the European Union”.

The closing event of the Single Market Forum 2018/2019, “The Future of the Single Market”, took place on 21 June in Bucharest, under the auspices of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. The conference covered essential topics for the Single Market, such as public procurement, services, retail and online commercial practices, mutual recognition for goods and standardisation. The discussions emphasised the recent progress contributing to a forward-looking approach to strengthening the Single Market.In the session on “Standardisation as a promotor of digital transformation”, SMEunited Enterprise Policy Director Luc Hendrickx spoke on behalf of SBS, alongside the Director General of the Romanian Standardisation Organisation ASRO, Iuliana Chilea. They presented the key features of the European standardisation system, the advantages of standardisation for SMEs and the role of SBS.

Mr Hendrickx noted that the European system is unique, because it ensures the democratic participation of all the relevant stakeholders. Taking into account the growing importance of standards for the digitalisation of SMEs, he concluded by presenting the ongoing work and priorities of SBS in the field of digitalisation.
>Romanian business representatives discuss standards and the standardisation process

This year, SBS’ first national seminar was hosted by the Romanian Council for SMEs (CNIPMMR). It took place in Bucharest on 10 July, with the support of the Romanian Standards Association (ASRO). The seminar aimed to inform local SMEs and foster an exchange of views with the representatives of the Romanian standardisation system.

Business representatives from sectors such as fans and construction shared first-hand experiences of standards. Participants in the discussions raised concerns regarding the difficulty of finding the appropriate standard to apply to a product or service, the high costs of acquiring and translating European standards, the lengthy implementation time for standards and the lack of information about the authorities responsible for verifying correct implementation.

New standards for the lighting industry

The International Day of Light, launched by UNESCO, aims to “promote the importance of lighting technology and the need for access to light and energy infrastructure in sustainable development, and for improving quality of life in the developing world”.
In this context, and in collaboration with the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), ISO recently published two new documents that directly contribute to this goal:
  • ISO/CIE 20086, Light and lighting – Energy performance of lighting in buildings
This document provides a method for effectively calculating lighting use, for the estimation of a building’s overall energy performance.
  • ISO/CIE TS 22012, Light and lighting – Maintenance factor determination – Way of working
This document contributes to the safe and efficient use of light energy by helping organisations to ensure the continuous maintenance of lighting installations.

Joint Declaration on construction in the circular economy
On 27 May, SBS, together with seven European organisations (EBC, CPE, ECOS, EDA, FIEC, EEB and CECE), issued a joint declaration entitled “Construction in the circular economy: Towards circular materials, products and buildings”.
Construction and demolition waste includes materials such as concrete, clay, gypsum, wood, glass, metals and plastics. Many of these can be recycled (for use as “secondary raw materials”) or reused. Yet the current market for recycled or reused materials and products is far from strong, even though an increased market uptake is a key objective of the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan, which aims to make the European economy a circular one. The joint declaration calls for a comprehensive strategy on circular economy in construction. To this end, an expert platform within the future construction initiative (currently “Construction 2020”) should be established. This would be a multi-stakeholder platform designed to frame reflection and discussion within a wider circular economy setting.

The full joint declaration is available here.

Joint Declaration for a more efficient standardisation system for construction products
On 28 June, SBS, EBC, CPE and FIEC issued a joint declaration entitled “Construction products manufacturers and contractors urgently need a standardisation system that works”.

In recent years, the European standardisation system and legislation have often failed to deliver harmonised product standards in a timely manner that takes account of relevant changes in the system.

The joint declaration calls for a working standardisation system, as construction product manufacturers and contractors rely heavily on timely standards that enable and uphold the Internal Market for construction products.
Therefore, they propose the following short-term solutions:

  • “Provide a flexible approach to the development of harmonised product standards, allowing the industry to put forward technical solutions, which match the sector’s needs while continuing to satisfy regulatory aims;
  • Streamline the development of standardisation requests, ensuring both fast delivery and transparency;
  • Put in place joint solutions between the European Standardisation Organisations and the European Commission in order to remove the backlog in the citation of harmonised product standards in the OJEU [Official Journal of the European Union].”
The full joint declaration is available here.

Joint Initiative on Standardisation: ETSI deems inclusiveness of SMEs a high priority

The Joint Initiative on Standardisation recently published its findings and recommendations for improving and modernising the European standardisation system. This joint effort greatly increases the ability of all interested stakeholders to work together effectively among all interested stakeholders in the context of a constructive dialogue. It has paved the way for concrete initiatives for inclusiveness, such as the ETSI 3SI programme and the ETSI Technology Awareness Roadshow for SMEs.

Further delay for standardisation requests

The standardisation request for the new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) regulation is the blueprint for all future standardisation requests. Member States should have voted on it at the last meeting of the Committee on Standards on 24 June. However, it was removed from the agenda. Further discussions on the issue are expected. This additional delay has implications for the medical devices standardisation request and for all standardisation requests.


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.