Towards greater inclusiveness in ICT standardisation

In July, ECOS, together with the other “Annex III” organisations – ANEC, ETUC, SBS – tabled a proposal on how the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) can improve inclusiveness in its practices. The proposals were agreed upon in a joint paper by all the societal stakeholder organisations and included:

  • Recognising Annex III organisations as pan-European, enabling ECOS to sit in the ETSI General Assembly with the ESOs and international associations, instead of as part of a national (currently Belgium) delegation, in order to facilitate our participation in discussions. It is not logical that European associations such as ECOS be part of a specific national delegation solely based on the fact that the Annex III organisations are all pan-European entities that happen to have their Secretariats in Belgium (where they have the status of not-for-profit associations). In addition, we proposed that membership to ETSI for societal stakeholder organisations should be free of charge;
  • Calling for a “right of opinion” to formally record Annex III organisations’ views on ETSI issues, including on ETSI standards. Due to the incredibly low voting weight assigned to ECOS and other societal stakeholder organisations, our vote is of almost no relevance. Therefore, a right of opinion, which is also being requested of the other ESOs – CEN and CENELEC – would be a welcome improvement in how the ESOs meet the requirements of inclusiveness under EU Regulation 1025/2012;
  • Proposing to improve the training offered by ETSI to increase the participation of societal stakeholders, and extending its’ scope to other ETSI members who can facilitate this increased participation.

ECOS hopes that a decision will be taken by the ETSI Board in September, which would then be endorsed by the ETSI General Assembly.