ECOS participated in the ISO-IEC-UNECE conference on 2 November, which aimed to explore the benefits of referencing standards in regulations, and how standards can help implement policy commitments (e.g. sustainability, resilience and development goals). The event was attended by national and international policymakers, standards developers and NGOs.
The discussion revolved around the availability of standards referenced in policy documents, and the copyrights and IP considerations that this implies. Standards used in legislation are only publicly available in a few countries around the world, and not necessarily free of charge. The European Commission shared the EU experience of using standards in regulatory and policy work, and the practical method used for referencing standards in EU technical regulations explaining that the so-called harmonised standards are not publicly available in the EU.
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) presented the global technical framework for energy efficiency including performance requirements, specifications, testing and measuring methods to rate power consumption of devices that are used in e.g. homes and buildings.
ECOS commented that while standards can contribute towards ensuring the proper implementation of laws and policies in the EU, they should not be used in replacement of more appropriate legal actions, especially in areas of public interest. Moreover, it is urgent to make the international standardisation more transparent, open and inclusive, in order to ensure that international standards take into account the societal interests, alongside private interests. The public, free-of-charge availability of standards supporting policy should also be sought.
More information, including the presentations, can be found here
For more information about ECOS’ views on standardisation, see here