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European standardisation, central to a stronger Europe

14/01/2022

The European standardisation organisations CEN and CENELEC and the French standardisation body AFNOR have welcomed the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) during the first half of 2022, which aim to strengthen Europe's strategic autonomy.

To this end, European standards will contribute to providing an effective response to the EU's strategic plans and to ensuring a stronger Europe in the world. Gender equality, a standardisation roadmap on Artificial Intelligence and the new European standardisation strategy are the priorities of the French presidency during the first 6 months of 2022.

These projects offer the opportunity to define common references for the 27 Member States and to strengthen the EU's role as a global leader. To achieve this, the EU will pull on the technical standards it has depended on for decades to achieve its strategic objectives.

The CEN-CENELEC community, whose Spanish member is UNE, will focus on these three topics:

Gender equality

Gender equality is a key area for European standardisation organisations: in 2019, CEN, CENELEC and 19 of its members, including UNE, signed the UNECE Declaration, a global initiative promoted by the UN, to incorporate gender mainstreaming into standards.

In this regard, AFNOR developed a guide for best practice to promote gender equality in organisations. This document serves as a basis for a new international standard, which will address all aspects of equality.

Artificial Intelligence Standardisation

European standards provide valuable support for the deployment of a human-centered approach to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robot ethics in Europe. They guarantee the safety of products and services and reduce trade barriers, thus benefiting the Single Market.

To organize and develop standardisation projects on the subject, CEN and CENELEC have created a joint technical committee on AI. Through their joint efforts, standardisation organisations aim to support the French presidency in its work on future European regulation of the sector.

The European standardisation strategy

In early 2022, within the framework of the French Presidency of the EU Council, the European Commission is expected to publish a new European standardisation strategy. This initiative is a response to the need for a more assertive and strategic stance at an international level. It also seeks to better respond to standardisation needs arising from the twin ecological and digital transition of European industry.