Brussels (4 February 2010) - The newly formed SME Working Group (SME WG) established by CEN (The European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization), met for the first time on 4 February 2010. The set-up of this new SME WG will allow closer monitoring of the actions targeting SMEs in the European standardization arena and ensure their implementation and follow-up.
Born from a common will of both European standards organisations to continuously improve their efforts to facilitate the access of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to standards work, this new SME WG aims to contribute to an increased competitiveness of European SMEs, which will enable them to strengthen the vital role they already play in the European economy.
CEN and CENELEC are committed to help SMEs get easier and safer access to standardization, as it provides European companies with a means to be competitive, thus allowing them access to state-of-the-art technology. Already in 2009, in order to address the issues SMEs face, two projects were started: the SME Standardization Toolkit (SMEST) and the SME Access to European Standardization project. The SME WG will look at their continued implementation and strive further for new actions and projects. The SME WG embodies CEN and CENELEC’s commitment towards SMEs, acting as a platform to exchange ideas and best practices.
This high-level SME WG reports to the CEN-CENELEC administrative boards (known under the name of CAs). Convenor is Mike Low from the British Standards Institute (BSI) and the secretariat is held by Andreea Gulacsi from the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre.
Seating from left to right: Elena Santiago CID, Director General CCMC; Mike Low, Director Standards, BSI; Andreea, Gulacsi, Project Manager Innovation, CCMC; Ernst-Peter Ziethen, CEN Vice President Technical
Participants of this SME WG include stakeholders from CEN and CENELEC National members; DG Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR) of the European Commission (more specifically from its Small and Medium Enterprises, and Standardization’s units); the European Free Trade Association (EFTA); as well as CENELEC cooperating partner ORGALIME (European Engineering Industries Association representing the interests of the Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic, Metalworking & Metal Articles Industries); and CEN Associated Partner, NORMAPME (European Office of Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium sized Enterprises for Standardisation).
The main objective of the SME WG is the follow-up of the CEN-CENELEC’s 58 recommendations emanating from the 'SME Access to standardization project' in better coordinating and monitoring their implementation.
The SME WG has the ambition to "make the difference", as Mike Low said, in reaching out to SMEs, SME trade associations and their related networks. For this, all stakeholders and interested parties, such as the European Standards Organizations, the European Commission and the national governments, need to join forces to work towards a common benefit: helping SMEs means helping the European market and economy.
CEN-CENELEC Management Centre
Programme Manager Innovation
Tel: +32 2 550 09 79
CEN and CENELEC
Unit Manager Communication
Tel: +32 2 519 68 90