ECOS Conference: Access granted? Helping environmental NGOs engage in standardisation at national level
The conference, dedicated to fostering the engagement of NGOs in standardisation at national level, took part on 5 December in Brussels.
The event gathered nearly 70 representatives from various ENGOs, CEN-CENELEC, National Standards Bodies and the European institutions. Throughout the day, speakers and participants addressed the need for greater engagement in the development of standards from civil society and ENGOs in particular, and actively looked for solutions on how to make such engagement possible and efficient.
Keynote speakers at the event included Gerhard Leibrock from the European Commission, who introduced the European standardisation system, and Elena Santiago Cid, CEN and CENELEC’s Director General, who acknowledged the need for inclusiveness to ensure better standards.
The morning panel addressed the needs and challenges NGOs encounter when taking part in the development of standards, while the second part of the day was designed around three break-out sessions where participants worked to devise a model toolkit which could empower civil society stakeholders to become more active in standardisation.
The conference also marked the end of the pilot project AccESS, which aimed to break down barriers for national environmental NGOs to participate in the European standardisation system. The AccESS partners were able to share their hands-on experience and lessons learnt from the project, as well as their recommendations for a more sustainable involvement of ENGOs in standardisation.
New postcard on NGOs & standardisation
On the occasion of the conference, ECOS launched a new postcard on the relevance of standardisation work for environmental NGOs. European standards are everywhere and impact both society and the environment. They can also serve as a tool to deliver better environmental performance of products, processes and services, and sometimes act in support of legislation. Environmental NGOs can make standards environmentally ambitious and better for society, while ensuring their alignment with political goals.