Council adopts position on new requirements for European standardisation organisations (ESOs)

(Source: Council of the EU and European Council)

Today, member states agreed their position on the proposed amendment to the European standardisation regulation.

The purpose of the standardisation regulation is to determine the procedures for developing harmonised standards within the EU. These harmonised standards make it easier to place products on the market and are one of the cornerstones of the single market.

They are also a tool which the EU can use to promote its values or policies, whether in relation to environmental issues or societal issues, for example with the work that has begun on artificial intelligence.

The proposed amendment introduces new requirements to ensure that national standardisation bodies in the EU and the European Economic Area are involved in the decisions of the European standardisation organisations on the development of the European standards requested by the Commission.

Background

Harmonised standards are a well-established tool for promoting the technical conformity of products.

Although they are voluntary, their widespread use enables manufacturers across the EU to comply with the essential requirements for products as defined in EU law. A harmonised European standard is a standard developed at the request of the European Commission by one of the ESOs.

Although not always visible, European standards are essential in everyday life and play an important role in the internal market. They ensure that products such as toys and household appliances comply with EU law, are interoperable and are safe for citizens and for the environment.

Standards also help to ensure that European products and services, such as batteries and artificial intelligence, comply with data protection and cybersecurity rules and take environmental and other considerations into account.

On 2 February, the Commission presented its proposal to amend the standardisation regulation, together with a new standardisation strategy that outlines an EU approach to standards.

Next steps

Today’s mandate was approved by the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper). It will allow the Council presidency to start negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as the Parliament agrees its position.

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