2. Process guidance
3. Modification of the status of draft standards
4. Supporting tools
See glossary for the following definitions: Mandate, Standing Committee of a Directive
Note: All New Approach Directives (and sometimes others) provide for the setting up of a Standing Committee. The rules for the Standing Committee often correspond to the rules set up by Directive 98/34/EC relating to the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations.
2. Process guidance
2.1 Sources of the 'mandate process'
Mandates may originate from many different sources which 'trigger' the mandate process at the European Commission (EC) level and/or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Secretariat and can be considered as one of the possible ways to start the core process of standardization.
Reasons to issue a mandate can include the promotion of technology, environmental issues, safety/consumer protection, requests from industry, harmonisation of national legislation, European Union (EU) Directives, CE marking, result of programming mandates.
Each trigger for the mandate process has the common objective of using standardization in particular to break down the barriers to trade within Europe.
These triggers may be driven by an external interested party (e.g.the European standardization bodies) or by the EC itself depending on the individual circumstances of the source, e.g. integrity of the EU market: standards may be proposed to support the operational aspects of an EU directive, to remove barriers to trade, or to assist in research and development.
2.2 Preparation and approval of a mandate in the EC and/or EFTA Secretariat
The preparation of mandates is the responsibility of the EC and EFTA.
Once the trigger event has been acknowledged by the EC and/or EFTA, a market study takes place to evaluate the different consequences that a mandate for standardization work would have on the European and world-wide markets.
As a result of this study, the EC and/or EFTA Secretariat decides the type of mandate the EC and/or EFTA Secretariat is (are) willing to present to the European standardization organisations.
The EC and/or EFTA Secretariat can present different types of mandate to the standardization organisations:
- a 'programming mandate' which is presented to one or a combination of European standardization organisations which, then in turn, must produce a proposal for a standardization programme;
- a 'standardization mandate' which is presented to one or a combination of European standardization organisations in order to fulfil the expressed standardization needs of sources (e.g. as the result of a 'programming mandate');
- a combined programming and standardization mandate (in some cases).
The detail of the mandate is then drafted by the relevant services of the EC and/or EFTA. It should indicate as precisely as possible what is being asked of the standards organisations and the legal framework within which the standards have to be applied. The mandate may also specify that certain aspects are to be dealt with by European Union legislation and are, therefore, not the subject of standardization.
During the drafting of the mandate, the EC and/or EFTA Secretariat undertake a consultation stage to build informal consensus on the terms of the mandate between all interested parties within the EC, such as other General Directorates (DG), and other possible external parties, such as CEN, generally the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC), which may consult the relevant technical bodies.
NOTE: If programmes of work are used as reference documents, the drafting of the mandate should not present any difficulty. However, in specific cases, informal contact with the European standardization organisations can be useful to ensure co-ordination.
Standing Committees, which are responsible for the interests of a particular sector, will also advise on the draft mandate.
This proposed draft mandate is then passed by the EC to the Committee 98/34 of the EC (or the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) - Committee at EFTA level) for advice.
NOTE: Consultation of the 98/34 Committee is not a simple formality but essential for various reasons. The framework within which European Standards (ENs) and, above all, harmonised standards have to be developed must reflect consensus of national authorities.
Consultation of the 98/34 Committee implies a wide consultation of sector authorities at the national level. Agreements of the terms of the mandate provide therefore a solid basis on which standards can be developed.
Decisions on mandate are taken by the EC / EFTA Council on the basis of the advice given by the 98/34 Committee and TBT.
If the mandate requires work by European standardization organisations (CEN, CENELEC, ETSI), it is at this stage that they are officially informed about the mandate.
2.3 Acceptance and fulfilment of a mandate by CEN
2.3.1 Once the mandate is officially transmitted to CCMC, it is communicated to all interested parties who may provide input to the position that CEN, as a whole, will put forward to the EC and/or EFTA.
These interested parties include, among others, the CCMC Project Manager and the CEN Technical Committees (TCs) which possess expertise in the subject area covered by the mandate.
A proposal, documented with the advice of the interested parties, is submitted by correspondence to the CEN Technical Board (BT), in which an agreement among the CEN Members is sought regarding the mandate put forward by the EC and/or EFTA and the subsequent commitment of CEN System resources for the execution of the mandate requirements.
A mandate is considered as a contract between the EC and/or EFTA and CEN (possibly together with CENELEC and ETSI) and is thus binding for both parties. In particular and as a consequence the deadlines set in the contract for the deliverables are contractually binding and have to be respected.
2.3.2 Programming mandate
22.214.171.124 The BT agrees to the requirements of the programming mandate.
The CCMC communicates this positive outcome to the EC and/or EFTA.
The responsible parties in the CEN System are obliged to fulfil the requirements of the programming mandate and report to the EC and/or EFTA Secretariat regarding their findings.
Once the programming mandate is fulfilled and agreed upon by the EC and/or EFTA, this may or may not trigger a standardization mandate. If a standardization mandate is desired, the mandate process starts again from the trigger event (see clause 2.1)
126.96.36.199 The BT does not accept the programming mandate.
The responsible parties should collaborate and come to a common decision on the changes that are necessary in order for the programming mandate to be accepted or rejected.
2.3.3 Standardization mandate
188.8.131.52 The BT agrees to the standardization mandate.
The TCs concerned should prepare a programme of work that fulfils the requirements of the standardization mandate given by the EC and/or EFTA.
NOTE: In urgent cases, this work can be done in parallel with the BT's decision by correspondence procedure.
Once the BT has agreed the proposed work programme of the relevant CEN TCs, it is communicated to the EC and/or EFTA, along with the decision of the BT. The EC and/or EFTA may then accept the proposed programme of work.
It is then the responsibility of the CCMC to monitor the evolution and completion of the programme of work.
NOTE: At all stages during the development of a standard under mandate and/or covered by an Order Voucher, the TC should provide information to CCMC, which will be used to keep the EC/EFTA informed.
If problems are encountered, such as when work has to be delayed or when the terms of the mandate (contract) between CEN and the EC/EFTA have to be modified, the CEN TC should seek the opinionand comments of the relevant services of EC/EFTA.
184.108.40.206 The BT disagrees with the standardization mandate.
This outcome and the reasons for it are communicated to the EC/EFTA.
2.4 Financial contributions
For a limited number of ENs, mandates are related to financial contributions from the EC and/or EFTA in order to support the fulfilment of their requirements.
This is not always the case. Hence it is necessary to make a distinction between work arising from a mandate and any financial contributions made towards supporting this work.
Both programming mandates and standardization mandates can receive financial contributions from the EC and/or EFTA. If a financial contribution is proposed by the EC an/or EFTA, cost quotations from CEN, which compiles an estimate of all costs that will be incurred when fulfilling the requirements of the mandate, are presented to the EC and/or EFTA. These quotations are agreed by the EC and/or EFTA Secretariat before contracts can be finalised.
NOTE 1: The mandate requirement does not necessarily include a financial contribution from EC and/or EFTA Secretariat. There can be mandated work without financial contributions (e.g. to provide a "mandated" status to existing standards or standards in preparation); financial contributions for non-mandated work (e.g. in support of an industrial policy); mandated work with financial contributions (which will be less and less frequent).
NOTE 2: An Order Voucher (BC - Bon de Commande) is a contract between a European standardization organisation (e.g. CEN) and the EC (and EFTA) for the delivery of some services. These services can include the development of harmonised standards, other ENs, preparation of standardization programmes, studies and/or the organization of conferences or workshops.
An Order Voucher can be accompanied by financial support from the EC (and EFTA) and other parties in the CEN System (e.g. the CEN national members).
The mandate can also be seen as a written agreement or confirmation by the EC (and EFTA) of their support of the outcome (if it is addressed as such in the contract).
3. Modification of the status of draft standards
3.1 During the development of draft standards under mandate and/or covered by an Order Voucher, in particular after the CEN enquiry and after the formal vote, TCs may be faced with the need:
- to change the status of deliverable, as stated in the mandate/Order Voucher;
- to stop the work temporarily;
- to delete the work item.
It is not allowed to take such decision without having requested the formal opinion or agreement of the EC/EFTA.
3.2 The relevant TC initiates the request as soon as the matter is raised.
This request should be sent to the Standards Development Department of the CCMC by using the formatted resolution (see supporting tools, 4.2) stating the proposal and supported by full justification.
After checking, the CCMC forwards the request for advice or agreement to EC/EFTA.
3.3 The CCMC informs the TC of the position of EC/EFTA for further handling.
4. Supporting tools
4.1 Reference documents
Internal Regulations - Part 2, clauses:
- 220.127.116.11: Function of Reporting Secretariats;
- 5.3: Special Provisions applicable to mandated Work (Standstill)
- CEN Guide 1 concerning the execution of Order Vouchers issued to CEN in accordance with the CEC and EFTA Framework Contracts covering the tasks to be assigned to CEN relating to European standardisation (under revision)
- CEN Guide 3 concerning guidelines for the administration of Order Vouchers by National Members including principles for subcontracting (under revision)
Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council:
- article 7, laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations (replacing Directive 83/189/EEC, article 7 and amended by Directive 98/48/EC)
4.2 Formatted resolution(s)