Adopted in October 2012, is Regulation 1025/2012 on European standardisation still relevant? The European Commission launched a call for input in last September to evaluate whether the current Regulation can still sufficiently respond to the new opportunities and challenges of globalisation, ensure public safety, and support the green and digital transition.
The Commission received 90 responses from a wide range of stakeholders: business associations (37.78%), NGOs (13.33%), companies (11.11%), EU citizens (11.11%), public authorities (7.78%), etc. In its response, CEN-CENELEC “confirms that Regulation 1025/2012 is fit for purpose and shortcomings identified can be addressed through the use of an amendment”.
On the part of the social partners, BusinessEurope considers that the European Standardisation System (ESS), based on Regulation 1025/2012, has been an effective and reliable model for the new regulatory framework for products for many years. According to the standardisation Strategy 2022, there is no need to revise Regulation 1025, despite some existing inefficiencies in the system. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is not calling for a complete overhaul of the European standardisation system and therefore of Regulation (EU) 1025/2012 on European standardisation. But “important adjustments are needed” to set clear limits to prevent standards from addressing “socio-political issues, that need to be addressed through legislation, social dialogue and collective agreements”. Regulation 1025/2012 should also ensure better representation and effective participation of trade unions at national level, in particular when standards relate to occupational health and safety, work processes or working conditions. The essential role of the European Commission should be further strengthened to ensure that harmonised standards meet the legal requirements they are intended to support. Furthermore, “the use of potential alternatives such as common specifications when standardisation does not work properly should be formally addressed in legislation, as should the need to promote and leverage European standardisation on international platforms”. Standardisation must benefit all. It is therefore important that appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks are in place to ensure that standardisation not only supports the interests of industry, but more importantly, effectively protects the safety of workers and contributes to better working conditions.