Newsletter – Issue 6 – 2017

Newsletter – Issue 6 – 2017

European Commission adopts the 2018 AUWP for European standardisation

Published over the summer, the 2018 Annual Union Work Programme (AUWP) indicates which standards and standardisation deliverables the European Commission intends to request from the European Standardisation Organisations in 2018. It builds on the Commission’s 2017 Work Programme and the EU’s overall strategic objectives and covers many areas of standardisation, some beyond of immediate interest to SBS, while others touch on or are related to the work of SBS.

European Commission adopts the 2018 AUWP for European standardisation

Published over the summer, the 2018 Annual Union Work Programme (AUWP) indicates which standards and standardisation deliverables the European Commission intends to request from the European Standardisation Organisations in 2018. It builds on the Commission’s 2017 Work Programme and the EU’s overall strategic objectives and covers many areas of standardisation, some beyond of immediate interest to SBS, while others touch on or are related to the work of SBS.

As in previous years, there is much emphasis on the digital single market and on the energy union strategy. The Communication notes the progress on the priorities on ICT standardisation, namely the 5G communication networks, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, cybersecurity etc.

For the construction sector, the focus will be on improving the measurement of energy consumption of devices used in buildings, supporting Smart Cities through green and innovative procurement as well as giving end-users information on the performance of district heating/cooling systems.

The Work Programme also mentioned actions in support of the circular economy action plan, which covers durability, reusability, recyclability and documentation on material efficiency aspects and actions in support of a deeper and fairer internal market with a strengthened industrial base,

International cooperation is now a major focus for EU standardisation. The European Commission is keen to strengthen the competitiveness and global reach of European industry by reducing technical barriers to trade (TBTs), and to enhance worldwide interoperability by using common technically aligned standards that support trade in goods and services.

According to the AUWP, the Commission aims in 2018 to intensify its policy dialogue with international standardisation actors. It will also set up an observatory of international standardisation activities and a financial support mechanism to help experts to participate in international standardisation meetings.

For the unpublished harmonised standards, the Commission – together with CEN-CENELEC and ETSI – is developing an action plan to address the issue. Finally, the programme also refers to the need for the Joint Initiative on Standards (JIS), in which SBS actively participates, and which has amongst its goals to modernise, prioritise and speed up the timely delivery of standards

One concrete proposal, of particular interest to SBS, is the Commission’s intention to organise an inter-institutional training. The goal is to raise awareness among policy-makers about the role of standards in implementing legislation.

There is also a chapter on ‘inclusiveness’ – or how to better ensure the participation of SMEs and societal stakeholders in the standardisation process. The Commission said it will continue monitoring such developments, especially under the Joint Initiative on Standardisation (JIS), while also reaching out more to international partners.

Lastly, the Communication announced the upcoming publication of a Commission report on implementing EU standardisation policy. This report will serve as a basis for inter-institutional dialogue with the European Parliament and Council.

Reaching out to National Standardisation Organisations

Since early 2017, SBS has undertaken a tour of bilateral meetings with the National Standardisation Organisations (NSOs).
As set out in Article 6 of EU Regulation 1025/2012, European NSOs are encouraged to facilitate SMEs’ access to standards and the standards development processes. Through its NSOs meetings initiative, SBS is engaging bilaterally with the different NSOs and gaining a better overview of smaller companies’ involvement in the standardisation process. This will enable SBS to draw up some good practices for SMEs. It is also an opportunity for SBS to reach out to trade associations in these countries, so as to raise their awareness about the benefits of standards and the possibilities for them to participate in the process.
To date SBS has met with the NSOs of Iceland, Sweden and Denmark and enjoyed fruitful exchanges with each of them. Meetings with the NSOs of Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have already been arranged and others are in preparation. SBS intends to have met with all European NSOs by the end of 2019.

New construction Standardisation Officer joins SBS

In August, SBS welcomed its new Standardisation Technical Officer, Dr Adam Pinney, who takes over from Guido Sabatini.

Adam has been involved with the construction products sector for more than 25 years, starting in the UK in 1991. He then spent three years seconded to the European Commission, before becoming one of the European Committee for standardisation (CEN) Consultants for construction. He also spent four years as Commission Consultant to EOTA (European Organisation for Technical Assessment). In addition to working directly with EU construction products legislation (CPD/CPR), he has been involved in Technical Assistance to transitional and developing countries.

Adam’s work in the Technical Assistance field included drafting laws for construction products in Syria and Kosovo. He also assisted manufacturers to obtain CE marking (in the construction products sector and other areas such as electrical products and personal protective equipment) and provided training on market surveillance under the EU CPR (Construction Products Regulation).

Adam looks forward to working with SBS and its experts, and can be contacted at

SBS Construction Forum on 11 October 2017 on the CPR

The SBS Construction Forum, to be held on Wednesday 11 October in Brussels (14.00-17.00), will focus entirely on challenges and opportunities of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) for SMEs. This event comes ahead of the regulation’s potential revision. Speakers from the European Commission and SBS experts will address the risks and opportunities of any amendments to the CPR, while speakers from Construction Products Europe and FIEC (European Construction Industry Federation) will highlight the views of other stakeholders. A CEN Consultant will explain how to draft harmonised European standards (hENs) fully in line with the CPR, and CEN will also explain its position on the regulation. As a result, this event is a major opportunity for the sector’s stakeholders to share their experiences and thoughts on the future of this regulation, as well as its harmonised technical specifications. All views expressed will help to consolidate the SBS position, which will hopefully steer future developments and changes in the construction sector.
This year’s Forum is open to everyone, so we look forward to welcoming numerous participants. Please take this opportunity to make your voice heard on these crucial subjects by confirming your attendance. Register on the EBC website.

CEN-CENELEC Initiative on Digital Transformation: an opportunity for SMEs

CEN-CENELEC has decided to adopt a Strategic Plan for Digital Transformation Initiative. This initiative aims to address the needs of the industry and stakeholders for high-quality standards, while keeping an eye on the increased use of digital solutions in many sectors of the European economy. CEN-CENELEC acknowledges this rapid transformation of European industry, as well as the adoption of pioneering technologies in the ICT and digital sector.
The digital transformation in standardisation is a long-awaited development. It is expected to offer SMEs, users, consumers and researchers a good opportunity to elevate their technologies and processes to the status of European standards. Generally speaking, this transformation should also facilitate the market’s uptake of innovation.
SMEs can also significantly benefit from this CEN-CENELEC initiative, which will encourage them to contribute more easily and directly to European standards development. Moreover, the initiative is a decisive step to reduce some of the barriers that have been identified among the most discriminatory for accessing standardisation, e.g. the amount of time required to follow standardisation activities as well as travel and subsistence costs (EIM Business & Policy Research, 2009. Access to Standardisation. Study for the European Commission, Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General).

A webinar organised by CEN-CENELEC on 10 November 2017 will present the state-of-play for the Joint CEN-CENELEC Working Group ‘Online Standardisation Platform’ under the Digital Transformation Initiative. The webinar will discuss possible models for the modernisation and digital transformation of standards development in CEN-CENELEC. Register through the 10-10 webinars’ 2017 calendar webpage.

What is more, the webinar will be presented at the upcoming SBS Experts meeting which will take place on 11 October 2017 in Brussels.

New EU lift standards comes into force

From 1 September 2017, the European lift standards EN 81-20 and EN 81-50 come into force, replacing the decades-old standards EN 81-1 and EN 81-2. All lifts with an EU declaration of conformity issued after 31 August 2017 must comply with the requirements of these new standards or an equivalent level of safety. National industry associations have organised ad hoc meetings and seminars for lift SMEs, raising awareness and promoting education and training on the new standards. However, experts highlight three main challenges for lift SMEs. Firstly, they need to study and evaluate the main changes introduced by the new standards in order to apply them in the design and manufacture of new lifts. Secondly, they need the cooperation of their suppliers for the development of components for lifts and devices that meet the new requirements. Moreover, this change of standards means more burden: this must be studied carefully, since it will take time to complete the translations into the national languages.


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.