The Danish EU Presidency has reached an agreement on European standardisation. Thereby the Council and the European Parliament has agreed on the first of the twelve initiatives in the Single Market Act intended to modernise European trade and contribute to growth in Europe. The agreement will improve conditions for participation of businesses and stakeholders in the development of standards, ensure that standards reach the market faster, which will shorten the time span from idea to production, and boost the development of European standards for services.
European standards make it easier for businesses to trade across borders in the EU as standards create interoperability between products. An example is a European standard for mobile phone chargers, meaning mobile phone chargers all use the same plug. Other examples are standards for language courses or cleaning services - common standards guarantee equal quality of products and services and transparency for consumers.
In order to develop the best possible standards it is important that end-users contribute to their development. Furthermore, standards must be used more efficiently to support growth in Europe. That is ensured by the new framework for European standardisation.
Danish Minister of Business and Growth Ole Sohn:
The agreement on the regulation on European standardisation is the first of the twelve initiatives in the Single Market Act to be concluded, and thus the Danish EU Presidency has now put action to the intentions of strengthening the European Single Market to ensure growth in Europe.
By adopting the regulation, conditions are improved for participation of businesses and stakeholders in the development of effective and user-friendly standards. At the same time, the system will be more efficient, allowing innovative solutions to reach the market faster for example in the areas IT or services. Meanwhile, the regulation creates the foundation for the development of more European standards for services in the future. European standards can contribute to innovation and growth, which is much sought after in Europe.
According to the European Commission standards contribute with more than 35 billion Euros annually to European growth. In general, businesses that apply standards have higher productivity, growth and export than other comparable businesses.
The political agreement is to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council. The regulation enters into force 1 January 2013.