Improving the citing of Harmonized Standards in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) will be considered the major result of the “Joint initiative on standardization“. This initiative, launched in June 2016 to encourage public-private partnerships in this area, already has 109 signatories so far.
One of its fundamental measures aims to shorten the time for citing standards in the OJEU. Regulation 1025-2012 and the judgment in CJEU C613/14 James Eliott Construction, in 2012 and 2014 respectively, had the consequence of considerably lengthening those times by encouraging the European Commission to examine in greater detail the standards that could be harmonized.
It should be emphasized that a product produced in accordance with the requirements of a harmonized standard (for which the references have been published in the OJEU) is presumed to comply with the essential health and safety requirements of the applicable directive covered by that standard.
Note that the New Approach consultants, whose contracts are due to be renewed at the end of the year, are expected to join the departments of the Commission, and no longer those of CEN/CENELEC. This should make it possible to verify the content of standards more swiftly, and hence cite them within more reasonable time frames. An expert from the Commission is also expected to take part in the kick-off meetings for new standardization subjects in the CEN/CENELEC Technical Committees. He will thus be able to make his observations before the public enquiry phase and no longer at the time of enactment of a standard.