Standards are the spine of a healthy and competitive European economy; policymakers and citizens alike should realise it, push it up the public debate, and finally make it a critical political matter. The ICT sector holds a particular place in that regard. Its core technologies – such as mobile communications, data transfer, or video streaming – are robust only thanks to underlying standards.

The IEEE 802.11 standard? The basis for wireless network products - in other words, Wi-Fi.

However, standards are never neutral. Instead, they reflect the strengths and innovations of those who develop them. Non-participation in standardisation workstreams hands decision-making to others. This has direct and effective consequences on small and medium enterprises, which by lack of awareness or financial means are often excluded from standardisation processes. Yet, with SMEs representing 99% of businesses across the European Union, this poses serious issues of inclusiveness and standard suitability. For years, the European DIGITAL SME Alliance has upheld an inclusive vision of standardisation, pushing for standards suitable for the many - and not the few.