Mandates are the mechanism by which the European Commission (EC) and the secretariat of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) request the European Standardization Organizations (ESOs) to develop and adopt European standards in support of European policies and legislation.
This mechanism involves several steps. Here is how it normally works for standardization work in a field or sector that is covered by CEN:
- The European Commission sends a provisional draft mandate to CEN;
- The text is examined by the relevant Technical Body/Bodies within CEN;
- CEN provides comments to the European Commission, including proposals for specific modifications to the text (with explanatory notes);
- A draft mandate is submitted to the Standing Committee responsible for implementing the procedure described in Directive 98/34/EC, which ensures a wide consultation of national authorities and national standardization bodies in the EU Member States;
- A mandate is formally submitted to CEN and examined by the relevant Technical Body or Bodies;
- The CEN Technical Board makes a decision on whether or not to accept the mandate (with or without restrictions), taking into account the views of the relevant Technical Body or Bodies within CEN;
- Once the Technical Board has made a decision, CEN informs the European Commission.
In each case where a mandate has been accepted, the relevant Technical Body (or Bodies) within CEN is/are entrusted with the task of undertaking the expected standardization work.