2024 Annual Union Work Programme for European Standardisation: Supporting the EU’s Digital Transition

  • In line with the Commission’s 2022 Standardisation Strategy, the Programme supports the EU’s objectives towards a green, digital, and resilient single market

  • Standardisation efforts for the digital transition rank high on the agenda, with half on ICT-centred policy priorities

  • DIGITAL SME proposed five actions to include in the 2024 Programme, which were published in the Recommendation of the High-Level Forum on Standardisation

The Annual Union Work Programme for European Standardisation

According to Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012, the European Commission adopts an Annual Union Work Programme, outlining the standards and related deliverables that the Commission requests from the European Standardisation Organisations (ESOs) for the next year. Entry into the Programme is a prerequisite for any standardisation requests, but also for any financial support to standardisation activities.

Underpinning the Commission’s 2022 Standardisation Strategy, the Programme supports the EU’s objectives towards a green, digital, and resilient single market. It also contains objectives at the international level – including different digital partnerships signed with Japan, South Korea, and Singapore – as well as through other regional and global fora.

Eight key policy priorities were identified for 2024, half of which were ICT-centred:

  • Technologies for European high-performance computing and European quantum communication infrastructure;
  • EU Trusted Data Framework;
  • European Digital Identity Framework;
  • Cybersecurity requirements for products with digital elements.

72 actions were further delineated, supporting or building around the policy priorities. Ten of these were exclusively on the digital transition.

The role of DIGITAL SME

As a member of the European Commission’s High-Level Forum on Standardisation*, DIGITAL SME was invited in May 2023 to propose up to five actions to include in the Annual Union Work Programme on Standardisation. After consultation with the Working Group Standards, DIGITAL SME stressed the importance of:

  • Standards for designating data intermediaries under the Data Governance Act definition;
  • Minimum requirements for ensuring the technical feasibility of C2B data trading and data sharing;
  • Better distinguishing the cybersecurity-related aspects of electronic identification and trust services from the intrinsic trust services aspect in work being done at the Technical Committee level in ESOs;
  • A standardisation work item relating to software engineering addressing and defining the quality, reliability and security of software applications;
  • A standardisation work item defining the minimum requirements for data portability.

The High-Level Forum on Standardisation published a Recommendation for the 2024 Annual Union Work Programme, including all DIGITAL SME proposals. In the final approved document, the suggested actions by DIGITAL SME related to data sharing and data portability broadly fall under the EU Trusted Data Framework priority, while its action on electronic identification and trust services relates to the European Digital Identity Framework priority.

Next steps

As work is already underway for the next 2025 requests, DIGITAL SME looks forward to contributing to this critical document. Interested members are encouraged to participate through DIGITAL SME’s Working Group Standards.


*A multi-stakeholder group bringing together the European Commission, European Member States and industry.

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