What is the forum?
The High-Level Forum on European Standardisation (the forum) is part of the EU Strategy on Standardisation. The purpose of the forum is to identify standardisation priorities in support of EU policies and legislation, and discuss horizontal issues such as international leadership, education and skills and pre-normative challenges, in a multi-stakeholder setting.
A 'Sherpa' sub-group supports the forum as the main operational body dealing with the technical preparatory work undertaken and later endorsed by the forum.
What are the objectives of the forum?
The forum serves 3 main objectives
- to support a green, digital and more resilient single market by identifying the related standardisation priorities and agreeing on avenues for common action
- to bring more alignment between European policy priorities, industrial innovation and investment activities and standardisation actions
- to discuss possible work strands in support of the implementation of the EU Strategy on Standardisation in a multi-stakeholder set-up
The work and expected outcomes
The forum is expected to
- inform the exercise of the Annual Union Work Programme on European Standardisation
- support key activities for the implementation of the EU strategy on Standardisation
- make recommendations on how to address specific bottlenecks on standardisation, including on how to improve the European standardisation system, how to improve European representation in international standardisation bodies, how to gather the right level of expertise etc.
With regards to the task of advising on priorities and identifying future standardisation needs, one concrete tool for the forum is the Annual Union Work Programme for European Standardisation (AUWP). The priorities identified by the forum will feed the Commission annual exercise of the AUWP.
Regarding the work of the 'Sherpa' sub-group, the form of its meetings is flexible and can, in addition to general horizontal meetings, be in the form of thematic break-out sessions, workshops or ‘deep dives’. External ad-hoc experts can be invited to these more topical discussions to ensure broad stakeholder engagement.
The forum brings together high-level representatives of up to 60 members consisting of stakeholders from EU/EEA countries, European standardisation organisations, industry, civil society and academia, to discuss how to improve the European standardisation system. The forum meets 1 – 2 times per year.
The current forum comprises 55 members. The remaining 5 seats are subject to a continuously open call, published on 16 February on the Calls for application page. This is a continuously open call with no deadline. Applications can be received at any time throughout the existence of the group.
The forum is a European Commission expert group and thus follows the horizontal rules on the creation and operation of Commission expert groups. The members are high-level representatives from the following stakeholder categories
- European Standardisation Organisations, organisations representing industry or trade associations, organisations representing SMEs, organisations representing societal stakeholders and organisations in the field of research and innovation as well as organisations in the field of academia (type C)
- authorities of EU member countries (type D)
- authorities EEA countries (type E)
All information relevant to the forum is publicly available on the Commission’s Expert Groups transparency registry.
The shadow 'Sherpa' sub-group consists of representatives with effective expertise in standardisation and specific expertise in standards to support a green, digital and resilient single market. It meets 3 – 4 times per year and consists of a maximum of 60 members. All members can have up to 3 representatives each to cover expertise required for the green/digital transition and resilience objectives.
The forum was first presented in the February 2022 Commission Communication, EU Strategy on Standardisation: Setting global standards in support of a resilient, green and digital EU single market and created through Commission decision C(2022)6189 of 1 September 2022. Work officially began in January 2023.