Joint industry call for effective EU standardisation process

FEM co-signed an industry letter at the initiative of Business Europe, together with 17 other associations, calling on the Council of the EU to resolve the current bottlenecks of the European harmonised standardisation system.

The European Commission’s over-prescriptive approach to EU harmonised standards is negatively affecting the competitiveness and resilience of the European industry, while undermining the NLF system and the single market.

The co-signatories call on the Portuguese Presidency to mobilise its peer Member States to take actions towards the Commission in order to address this problem and find a workable solution. Timely and effective harmonised standardisation is crucial for the European industry.

Concretely, the requested actions are:
• Asking the Council to treat harmonised standardisation as inseparable from the revision of the Industrial Strategy for Europe and the evaluation of the NLF for products
• Urging the Commission to stop interpreting harmonised standards as part of EU law, when not explicitly referred to as such in legal acts
• Urging the Commission to re-establish the standardisation processes which have successfully worked under the NLF for many years, with the right balance of participation in the process from the Commission, Member States, European standardisation organisations and stakeholders
• Calling on the Commission to rethink its approach in the upcoming Standardisation and/or renewed Industrial Strategy, and subsequently in the standardisation procedures
• Always prioritising the well-established NLF route of the consensus-based harmonised standards over technical specifications in delegated or implementing acts

The industry letter was submitted to the Portuguese Minister of State for the Economy and the Digital Transition of Portugal (Chair of the EU Competitiveness Council) on 1 February.