Industry standards are mainly developed by industry representatives working in national, European and international standardization committees supported by scientists and other experts Industry standards are a perfect basis for regulatory action on safety, energy efficiency and other hot topics. Moreover the industry covers about 95 % of the cost related to the development of standards. Without the cooperation of the industry in the field of standardization regulators would have a hard time development directives and regulations that are beneficial for European customers, the climate or the environment. Nevertheless European manufacturers find themselves in a strange situation with respect to European standards. For some time now, industry has been politely requesting inclusion as an observer to the regulatory Committee on Standards (CoS). This is the body that takes implementing decisions on European Commission standardisation requests. These decisions invariably have an impact (be it positive or negative) on the European markets and companies using harmonised standards to show compliance with EU product legislation.
So why not involve industry as one of the accepted ‘observers’ that Regulation EU 1025/2012 on European Standardisation denotes to 4 categories of stakeholders? As the recent Competitiveness Council conclusions stressed "the need for the European Standardisation system to remain inclusive, transparent, market-driven and efficient, and to be fit for the future”.
The ‘INGRESS’ (INdustry GRoup on European Standardisation Strategy) platform has therefore been born from the common wish to together inform European policy makers about industry’s interests and priorities for using harmonised standards in the framework of Regulation EU 1025/2012. So far, eu.bac and 16 other European industry associations have teamed up within INGRESS, with the numbers anticipated to rise rapidly – not surprising when one considers the enormity of the issue at stake.
Harmonized standards play a vital role for the European Industry. They ensure that norms to help consumers, the climate and the environment are covering the European landscape and are often the basis for worldwide standardization plans. It is also convincing to see third countries like China adapting reliable European standards to their needs. To strengthen the processes in Europe therefore does not only help the industry but the planet. It is therefore hard to belief that the European Commission and Member States are able to define the future of European standardization and the kink to legislation without involving the industry as the main stakeholder.
Peter Hug, Managing Director