Debate in Council  
2011/0150(COD) - 29/09/2011  

The Council exchanged views on a strategy to modernise European standardisation. It instructed its preparatory bodies to pursue the examination.

The debate was structured around key questions put forward by the Presidency on the basis of the two proposals submitted by the Commission:

  • the communication " A strategic vision for European standards";
  • a draft regulation on European standardisation (refer to the summary dated 1 June 2011).

Delegations expressed broad support for increasing the role of European standards to benefit the EU economy and to strengthen the single market and consumer protection.

They agreed on the need to shape a standardisation model adaptable to ever-changing conditions by making it more flexible.

Most delegations:

  • highlighted the need to speed up the process for adopting European standards without this being detrimental to their quality and consistency;
  • outlined the important role that the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) standards developed by global ICT fora and consortia can play in public procurement policies;
  • expressed convergent views on the importance of a greater involvement of stakeholders in the standardisation process and particularly of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

More transparency and better accessibility to standards were also mentioned as an important aspect of the reform.

It should be recalled that the new strategic vision put forward by the Commission contains a list of 29 legislative and non-legislative actions and 5 axes of action: (i) industrial policy and innovation; (ii) inclusive standard-setting; (iii) standards on services; (iv) ICT fora and consortia standards, and (v) European standards in the global market.