Three European Standardization Organisations (ESOs) are officially recognised as competent in the area of voluntary technical standardisation, and part of the so-called European Standardisation System:
- CEN – European Committee for Standardization;
- CENELEC – European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization;
- and ETSI – European Telecommunications Standards Institute.
They are listed in Annex I of the European Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations.
Thanks to European Standards created by the European Standardization System, manufacturers and service providers get direct access to the market. The ultimate aim is to have a unique standard in 33 European countries and beyond.
Indeed, by creating standards, the ESOs help facilitate trade between countries, create new markets and cut compliance costs. They provide a standardisation framework to prepare voluntary standards that help to develop the Single European market for goods and services. European Standards play a crucial role in the development and consolidation of the European Single Market and support other EU policies, providing an efficient co-regulation tool.
Over the years the European Standardization System has proved to be a successful and well-consolidated model. This was acknowledged by the European Commission and the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) during the review of the European Standardization System in the context of the Better Regulation Policy of the European Union. The final report of this review was delivered in 2012.