The high-level Interinstitutional Dialogue on European Standardisation, which ECOS had long called for, was launched in Brussels on 7 June 2018 and is expected to meet annually. It gathered together high-level representatives of the European institutions, as well as of industry associations and civil society organisations, to discuss how European standardisation can support a smart, innovative and sustainable industry.
While the development of harmonised standards associated with European legislation and policies is meant to be closely monitored by the European Commission, bringing in the other European institutions is key to ensure that the system works most effectively and can help deliver on political objectives. It is also needed to identify potential needs for improvements in the European standardisation system, from the political approach to standards to the standards’ development process, and how these needs can be addressed.
ECOS Director Laura Degallaix took part in the Interinstitutional Dialogue to stress that standards should serve the needs of both industry and the society and be developed in a process that is as transparent and as open as possible. She also drew attention to the risks of internationalising the development of standards which support EU laws and policies. She called for the European Standardisation System to be reviewed in line with the EU Court of Justice’s ruling in the James Elliott case, which concluded that harmonised standards are part of EU law.
While the outcomes of this first Dialogue remain unclear for now, it was a first step towards engaging the European institutions with the standardisation community.