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12% of UNE standards are cited in national law


  • Nearly 4,000 UNE standards support legal texts, making it easier to meet requirements. They also encourage the effective deployment of public policies and are used as references in public procurement.
  • The relationship between standards and legislation is a successful public-private collaboration, which is key for a single market.

26 November 2019. 12% of UNE standards of the 33,000 standards in the Spanish catalogue are cited in national legislation, which translates as 4,000 UNE standards that support the effective deployment of public policies.

This was announced by the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, on the occasion of the Firm Steps campaign, which aims to highlight the advantages of technical standards for administrations, economic sectors, companies and consumers.

Among other advantages, the direct reference of UNE standards in the various regulations allows legal texts to be simplified, making it simpler and easier for companies to comply with legal requirements. It also fosters the capacity of Administrations to adapt to technological advances or create a framework for the innovation of products and services. Some illustrative examples of this are the UNE 0060 and UNE 0061 Specifications, promoted by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, that establish the requirements for considering an industry as Digital.

The reference to standards in public procurement documents ensures equal access, as they are publicly available documents, as set out in the Public Procurement Act. An example is the "Guide on the use of standards and accreditation in public procurement," published by ENAC  and UNE. The document offers guidelines on how to search for standards, how to cite them properly or how to demonstrate compliance. 

This form of legislation, supported by technical standards, is called Intelligent Regulations, contributing to reducing the costs associated with legal compliance and simplifies the process. Thus, the sectors, which have participated in the elaboration of the standards developed in the Spanish standardisation body, know in advance their requirements and can, in this way, adapt to them gradually.

In addition, European standards support community regulation, playing a prominent role in the internal market. For example, thanks to the application of harmonised European standards in the presumption of conformity of the products launched on the market with the ​essential requirements regarding these products set out in the European Union's harmonisation of law, through the EC Market. This is known as the EC's New Approach.

Modernisation of the Administration

UNE standards facilitate the modernisation of Administration, facilitating its evolution towards an effective and efficient management model for all its resources and assets, based on innovation and continuous improvement, aimed at satisfying the needs of citizens. UNE thus provides public management with standards ranging from Smart models or excellence and security models, to risk management or resource and asset management. 

UNE standardization is a model of success in public-private collaboration between Public Administrations and the economic sectors. UNE is made up of more than 500 members, including relevant national sectoral associations. The standards reflect the market consensus on best practices in key aspects for the competitiveness of organisations, and are developed with the help of all stakeholders and as a result of the consensus.

Rules or standards help organisations achieve one or more of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as they provide a common language and measurable criteria that are based on the knowledge, consensus and collaboration that this global challenge requires.