Horizontal topics

Discover main horizontal topics of importance for small businesses in which SBS is actively working to ensure SME views and interests are considered in standardisation and related legislation.

Horizontal topics

Digital transformation and sustainability are some of the main challenges faced by European SMEs to maintain their competitiveness. Embracing digitalisation entails the adoption of new advanced technologies, upskilling employees to leverage digital tools effectively and managing new risks such as cybersecurity. At the same time, sustainability involves implementing eco-friendly practices and meeting new European environmental regulations, all of which require significant investments and strategic planning.

Standards play a critical role in facilitating the green and digital transition of SMEs. They are essential tools for translating the requirements of European legislation in these areas into clear specifications and protocols, enabling SMEs to understand and comply with environmental and digital objectives. Sustainability has evolved beyond a legal necessity to a consumer and market demand, making adherence to recognised standards needed for accessing local and international markets.  Involving SMEs in the standard-setting process is essential to ensure that these standards are realistic, feasible and benefit the whole economy. Otherwise, they may only meet the needs of bigger companies and even place unnecessary or inappropriate requirements on small businesses. EU regulations, policies and strategies also play a key role in ensuring the access and representation of SMEs in standardisation at the European level, and it is important to include the SME perspective and technical knowledge in their development.  The following sections highlight the work of SBS in relation to major horizontal issues such as digitalisation, sustainability and general standardisation policy.


Actively participate in the standardisation process through direct involvement in Technical Committees across CEN, CENELEC, ETSI, and ISO. These professionals, nominated by SME-representing organizations, are crucial in voicing the needs and perspectives of SMEs.


Navigate our Tools Page, a comprehensive resource offering Courses, Compatibility Tests, Standardisation Requests, Monitoring Standards, an SME Toolbox of Solutions, and SME Guides. These tools are designed to empower and equip SMEs with the knowledge and skills needed for effective engagement in the standardisation process.

Position Papers

Discover insightful Studies that delve into the impact of standardisation on SMEs, presenting in-depth analysis and research findings


Keep up to date with the latest news from SBS! In this section, we provide you with the latest SME standardisation-related developments.

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.