On the eve of World Standards Day, the organisations representing societal stakeholders in the European Standardisation System – ANEC, ECOS, and ETUC – brought together representatives of the European institutions, the standardisation community and civil society to examine the degree to which European standards meet the needs of civil society, including in the support standards provide to legislation and policies in the area of public interest. Participants also looked at possible solutions to make the European Standardisation System more inclusive in order to ensure standards truly serve the interests of society, alongside economic interests.
With standards increasingly used to support – or sometimes even replace – regulation, it is crucial to ensure that societal stakeholders are fully represented and have the ability to contribute to the standardisation process most effectively.
ECOS has seen that the standardisation process is a time consuming, expensive process to get involved in, and requires a great level of technical knowledge, greatly limiting the participation of NGOs at national level. Fundamental changes to the standardisation system are vital to help overcome these barriers, in particular, facilitating the involvement of civil society organisations at European level.
The conference report is available to read here.