European Standardisation: Key Players and Their Benefits
The European Union recognizes three bodies: CEN, CENELEC, and ETSI as European Standardisation Organisations (ESO) in charge of developing and publishing European Standards aimed at supporting the implementation of various European policies and EU Directives. These standards have several benefits for different consumers, workers, businesses, and researchers. Each of these ESO bodies have specific roles and responsibilities, as explained below. Please read on.
CEN is a body that brings together the National Standardisation Bodies of 34 European countries. It’s an active body involved in producing standards in multiple sectors like machinery & equipment, healthcare, food, environment, energy, consumer products, construction, materials, chemistry, transport, services, security & defence, metrology, heating-cooling-ventilation, health & safety, and nanotechnology, among other sectors.
CENELEC is a standardisation body that produces standards for the electro-technical engineering field. These standards help develop the EU Single Market, cut compliance costs, and facilitate trade between countries. CENELEC collaborates with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to create market access at international level.
ETSI is a body that produces standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to be applied globally. These technologies include radio, mobile, fixed, internet, broadcast, and converged technologies.
There are quite a number of economic, technological, and social benefits that you can gain from using European Standards whether you’re a:
- Consumer of a product or service.
- Small, medium, large company or a trade association.
- Worker in a public sector or a non-governmental organisation.
- These standards help to harmonize the technical specifications of different products and services, making your business more efficient.
- Conforming to European Standards helps reassure your consumers that your product or service is safe to use and helps keep the environment safe.
- Aids in breaking down the barriers of trade, hence access to a variety of potential customers across Europe and the world at large.
- Helps your business to comply with the relevant legislation, like the EU regulations.
- Helps eliminate waste, reduce costs, and improve business efficiency & performance.
It’s essential that you know which standards to apply, and the proper way to apply them to be successful in your business.
- Helps future generations of lawyers, entrepreneurs, engineers, and executives familiarise with the use of the standards and how to participate in the standards making process. This will allow them to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the standards, hence contributing to ways to improve the standards.
- Promotes innovative products and services by creating large scale markets, reducing costs, disseminating research results, and enhancing interoperability between new & existing processes, products, and services.
- The standards are important in several aspects of our lives. Besides regulating various operations, European Standards help protect the environment by ensuring the provision of good quality, safe, and reliable products and services. It’s important that you look for CE marked fabrications when selecting a particular product (especially machines, apparatus, and equipment); this is a sign showing the product’s compliance with the set standards and regulations.
- They also incorporate accessibility requirements, outlining the people recommended to use the product, service, systems, buildings, or facilities. This serves to protect the health and safety of all workers and consumers, including vulnerable consumers such as young children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.