When the chief officers of the three European Standards Organisations (ESO) met with Günter Verheugen, vice president of the European Commission in charge of Enterprise and Industry, to discuss the contribution that CEN, CENELEC and ETSI can make to promote growth, competitiveness and employment in the European Union, the key messages that emanated were to fulfil the Lisbon agenda, to concentrate on ICT and encourage SMEs.

In the meeting, the three ESOs stated their joint vision that standards are a strategic tool for industry and for the public sector as well as being a key enabler for the growth of new and existing markets. Verheugen confirmed that the Commission would continue to make use of standardisation to achieve the goals of the Lisbon agenda with priority to complete the internal market. He said, “I expect standardisation to continue to be a European strength. Standardisation is contributing to the reduction of barriers to trade and to increased competitiveness. European standards makers are a major contributor to better regulation with standards being produced in support of co- and self-regulation.”

He strongly encouraged the ESOs to intensify their efforts with regard to Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and space standardisation, and conveyed the message that the European Commission sees a need for the bodies to keep encouraging the participation of small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in the standards making process and in the flow of information about standards and how they facilitate market access. Furthermore, in coming months the ESOs will coordinate to ensure that the European Standardisation System is promoted to all direct and in-direct users, to ensure that international standards continue to happen first in Europe.