European Commission seeks input on standards to support for the Digital Single Market

Brussels, 29 September 2015. In May this year, the European Commission published its strategy for the creation of a Digital Single Market (DSM). The EC communication comprises a roadmap of 16 actions that will be put in place in order to achieve the DSM. Among these actions, key elements are interoperability and ICT standards.

Standards are essential for interoperability of new technologies within the Digital Single Market. Standardization can support the progress of new technologies such as 5G wireless communications, digitisation of manufacturing (Industry 4.0) and construction processes, data driven services, cloud services, cybersecurity, e-health, e-transport and mobile payments.

While standards are developed by industry and stakeholders in a “bottom-up” approach, Europe needs to make sure that the right standards are set in support on new emerging technologies. The long-term competitiveness of our economy is at stake if Europe is not able to take the leadership in important segments of the digital value chain.

With this in mind the European Commission is now seeking the input of industry and stakeholders in order to develop an integrated standardization plan with key priorities and a focus on the technologies and domains that are deemed to be critical to the Digital Single Market. A public consultation was launched on 23 September and will be open until 16 December 2015. https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/public-consultation-priority-ict-standards-plan

At the same time, the European Commission continues to ensure its financing to the European Standards Organizations CEN-CENELEC-ETSI recognized in Regulation 1025/2012. While the ESOs are private organizations governed by their members and stakeholders, the Commission has the capacity to request the development of standards in specific areas where it determines a need. Examples of standards developed under an EC request are Intelli
gent Transport Systems and Radio Equipment.

The European Commission has additional tools that can be used to steer the process of standardization where the needs of competitiveness and society in general are identified. These are in particular the Annual Union Work Program, whereby the EC identifies strategic priorities for European standardisation on the basis of the policy objectives set by the Commission in its planning, and the ICT standardization Rolling Plan, a regularly updated roadmap inclusive of standardization projects in all ICT related domains, each of them associated with the relevant policy objectives identified by the Commission.

Both instruments, the Annual Union Work Program and the ICT standardization Rolling Plan are publicly available for consultation.