European Parliament accepts initiative report

At its plenary meeting on 21 October 2010, the European Parliament accepted the initiative report presented by the Czech rapporteur Edvard Ko?u?n?k on the future of European standardization.

With the initiative report the European Parliament has indicated to the European Commission its standpoint regarding the revision of European standardization. The report was drafted on behalf of the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee. Following its discussion and the incorporation of some of the 118 proposals for amendment submitted by all parliamentary groups, it was finally approved on 14 September.

The report contains a clear commitment to the national delegation principle, which the European Commission had called into question in the spring of this year. The main topics are improving access to the standardization process and facilitating access to standards. There is particular focus on “standardisation in support of innovation and sustainable competitiveness in a globalized environment“, and the report also makes a number of recommendations, including increasing efforts to incorporate standardization into education and integrating standardization in European research programmes.

Only in a few details does the report differ from DIN's views, such as in the division of standards into “private/industrial”, and “harmonized/mandated” (item no. 48), which is not correct from a technical point of view, and the reference to the model used to develop ISO 26000, which did not prove practicable.

DIN Director Dr. Torsten Bahke welcomed the document. “We are happy to note that the European Parliament has realized the immense importance of standardization for European business and has acknowledged its significance in this report. We particularly welcome the fact that so much space is given to the role of standardization in supporting innovation and sustainable competitiveness.” This shows that the European Parliament is moving in the same strategic direction that Germany first took in 2004 with the development of the German Standardization Strategy and which also plays a significant role in the standardization policy concept of the German government.