The need for a single coherent approach towards standardization from European Institutions in support of global competitiveness of European industry, including SMEs. It was the main topic addressed at the breakfast debate “Unleashing the full potential of European Standards for the 21st century” convened at the European Parliament on the 7th of January in which IP EUROPE took part.  

An event organized by CEN and CENELEC (the European Standardization Committees) where speakers, lawmakers and industry stakeholders, shared their inputs on matters related to standardization. The event was hosted and kicked off by Marlene Mizzi, the IMCO (Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee) rapporteur on the report “European standards for the 21st century” to be presented  this spring. 


Mep Mizzi stressed how “inclusiveness is key to standards in both use and development if not their value will be diluted”.  She also acknowledged that “there are barriers that need to be addressed at the European and nation level in particular on inclusiveness, openness and transparency”. She anticipated that the upcoming report recognizes that interoperability and Ict (Information and communications technology ) standardization play a key role in digital transformation in favor of open standardization process based on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND).  She also explained that the standardization is a playing level field where companies of all sizes can collaborate in a mutual matter. She concluded her speech underlining how the report is supporting SMEs in their standards development process.

The biggest voice in support of SMEs came from Mr. Bernhard Thies, CENELEC president, who went straight to the point by saying that “we need to find new ways of making standards for the future and provide easy access to SMEs and called for a coherent standardization policy.

Yet, the main takeaway from the breakfast meeting, was the emphasis on the need to convey to policy makers how standardization matters and that all the parties concerned with this matter need to be engaged and given a chance to offering their added value in the process that is leading towards the establishment of a European Standardization system for this century.

This notion is uplifting. Without SMEs contributions the unleashing of European Standards will be an uphill road with no end in sight.