EU Standardisation Strategy

On 2 February, the European Commission announced its new Standardisation Strategy, which seeks to help the European Union achieve its goals of a greener and more digital economy. Therefore, by becoming a more relevant player in the global economy, in line with the Industrial Strategy 2020.

 

The initiative's purpose is for the EU to regain its waning power over the international organisations that set the norms and standards for the products and services we use every day.

 

Hence the EC proposal seeks to anticipate, prioritise and address standardisation needs in strategic areas. The latter by ensuring interoperability, cost reduction and greater security, as well as promoting innovation. 

Indeed, standards are the implicit foundation of the single market and the EU's global competitiveness and are an invisible but fundamental part of our daily lives. 

 

The European strategy for the single market has three main goals: to accommodate market transformations, to support the advancement of ecological and digital transitions, and to define balanced, flexible balanced, harmonised and flexible regulatory frameworks between innovation and rights protection.

Besides, one of the main hubs of the strategy is the reform of the European standardisation bodies. The latter through, a) the balancing of the interests involved, b) the democratisation of the decision-making processes, and c) the strengthening of national bodies.

 

There is no need to hide that this proposal can be seen as a counteroffensive to China, US on trying to get involved in international groups defining emerging and green tech.

 

Therefore, the focus is on improving the governance and integrity of the European standardisation system and strengthening European leadership in global standards. In particular, the Commission will work to set up a new mechanism with EU Member States and national standardisation bodies to share information, coordinate and strengthen the European approach to international standardisation. 

The project is about innovating through standardisation activities and anticipating early standardisation needs to achieve Europe's technological sovereignty. 

Therefore, what above should lead to the ability to reduce dependencies and the protection of EU values.

 

The proposal foresees a transitional period of six months before the entry into force. 

In addition, support from the Commission is foreseen for European standardisation organisations to adapt, if necessary, their rules of procedure regarding the decision-making on standards and products.

 

Notwithstanding the ambition of the project and probably the actual need for intervention, some authors believe that the project may favour the fragmentation and regionalisation of international standards.

Thus leading to the paradoxical effect of a slowdown in technological innovation and an increase in geopolitical tensions related to competition between global economies.


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Luca Megale
is a PhD Student at LUMSA University of Rome 

and tutor of the European Master in Law and Economics - EMLE (Rome term)