EU considers standardisation to provide opportunities to SMEs

The European Commission’s message voiced on the occasion of today’s world standardisation day 2006 celebrated in Brussels is: small and medium-sized entities should seize the opportunities provided by standardisation and profit from them by increasing their competitiveness. Among other things, the participants of the world standardization day discuss topics such as methods of user-friendly standardization as well as a stronger integration of small and medium-sized entities in the standardization process. The standards developed by the European standardization organizations CEN, CENELEC und ETSI represent a major contribution to the EU policy of passing more efficient laws. According to the Commission it is up to the several interest groups to integrate necessary details into the new standards.
Günter Verheugen, vice president of the Commission and High Commissioner for companies and industry, said: “By introducing European and international standards the worldwide competitiveness of our companies is going to be increased. Small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) with their enormous innovative potential have to be more involved in these issues.” In the opinion of the Commission, in the past small and medium-sized entities quite too often left the decisions on these matters to major companies and were therefore not able of profiting from standardization. To many SMEs such as those operating in the fields of personal protective equipment, electrical equipment or telecommunications the participation and integration in the process of standardization provides strategic advantages. By having an early knowledge of approved standards, these companies would be able to assume a leading role not only in the markets of their home countries, but on a worldwide scale.
For this reason the participants of the world standardization day argue for a „new pact”for the integration of SMEs into the standardization processes. Such a pact would comply with the intention of the Commission to “first think on a small scale”and would lead to a legislation being more useful to small and medium-sized entities. Information on the event’s schedule are available from the website of the Commission. GERMAN