On 2 February, the Commission presented a new Standardization Strategy outlining our approach to standards within the Single Market as well as globally. The Strategy is accompanied by a proposal for an amendment to the Regulation on standardization, a report on its implementation, and the 2022 annual Union work programme for European standardization. This new Strategy aims to strengthen the EU’s global competitiveness, to enable a resilient, green and digital economy and to enshrine democratic values in technology applications.
The Strategy presented proposes five key sets of actions:
- Anticipate, prioritise and address standardization needs in strategic areas:the Commission has identified standardization urgencies as regards COVID-19 vaccine and medicine production, critical raw materials recycling, the clean hydrogen value chain, low-carbon cement, chips certification and data standards. The Commission will establish the function of a Chief Standardization Officer to ensure high-level guidance across the Commission on standardization activities, which will be supported by an EU excellence hub on standards composed of Commission services.
- Improve the governance and integrity of the European standardization system:European standards, which support EU policy and legislation, must be decided by European players. The Commission is proposing an amendment to the Regulation on standardization to improve the governance in the European standardization system. While the European system will remain open, transparent, inclusive and impartial, the proposal prescribes that the mandates, at the request of the Commission to the European standardization organizations must be handled by national delegates – the national standardization bodies – from the EU and EEA Member States.
- Enhance European leadership in global standards:the Commission will work through the High-Level Forum to set up a new mechanism with EU Member States and national standardization bodies to share information, coordinate and strengthen the European approach to international standardization.
- Support innovation: A ‘standardization booster’ to support researchers under Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe to test the relevance of their results for standardization, will be launched. The development of a Code of Practice for researchers on standardization will be initiated to strengthen the link between standardization and research/innovation through the European Research Area (ERA), by mid-2022.
- Enable the next generation of standardization experts: standards rely on the best experts and Europe is facing a generation shift. The Commission will promote more academic awareness on standards, for instance through the future organization of EU University Days and training of researchers.