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General framework of European standardisation policy

Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012

The regulation provides a legal basis to use European standards for products and services, identify ICT technical specifications, and finance the European standardisation process. It also sets an obligation for European Standardisation Organisations (CEN, CENELEC, ETSI) and National Standardisation Bodies on transparency and participation.

  • Transparency and stakeholder participation (Articles 3 to 7): The work programmes of the European standardisation organisations and the national standardisation bodies have to be transparent and publicly available. Standardisation processes shall be inclusive and allow the participation of all relevant stakeholders.
  • European standards and other deliverables in support of Union legislation and policies (Articles 8 to 12): The Commission plays a key role in planning and initiating standardisation and related standardisation requests (mandates). The strategic planning is given in the annual EU work programme. Before taking specific standardisation policy actions, the Commission notifies stakeholders through a publicly available Notification System. Voluntary European standards can be used in support of EU legislation. That is the case in particular with harmonised standards cited in the OJEU.
  • Identification of ICT technical specifications (Articles 13 and 14): ICT technical specifications are not developed by European standardisation organisations, international standardisation organisations, or national standardisation bodies. They do not fall under any of the categories of standards and approvals laid down in the EU's public procurement legislation. To provide for the possibility that technical specifications for public procurement could refer to such ICT technical specifications, the Regulation lays down a procedure for the identification of selected ICT technical specifications eligible for referencing. Before identification the Commission consults the European multi-stakeholder platform on ICT standardisation.
  • Financing European standardisation (Articles 15 to 19): This establishes the legal basis for the financial support provided by the EU to the European standardisation system. The overall amount available for the support of European standardisation system has been stable over the last years and is worth around € 20 million annually. Consult Annex III of the Regulation.

General guidelines for cooperation with European Standards Organisations

General guidelines for the co-operation between CEN, CENELEC, and ETSI, and the European Commission and the European Free Trade Association were adopted on 28 March 2003.

Annual Union Work-Programme

See the Annual Union Work-Programme for European Standardisation.

Vademecum on European Standardisation

Vademecum on European Standardisation is a compilation of key documents from the Commission on European standardisation policy and related practice. It provides guidance without having legal status.