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White Paper - Modernising ICT Standardisation in the EU - The Way Forward, COM(2009) 324 final

Funded under: FP7-ICT


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a major driver of competitiveness and represents one of the key industrial sectors of the 21st century. In 2007 the European ICT industry had a turnover of € 670 bn and accounted for over 5% of total employment in the EU. European ICT needs sound framework conditions to fully contribute to the growth and jobs agenda and in this context standardisation plays an important role. Moreover, as ICT tools are used in all economic sectors, an effective EU ICT standardisation policy can encourage the faster uptake of new technologies and applications thereby contributing to the competitiveness of the European economy as a whole.
Standardisation is a voluntary cooperation among industry, consumers, public authorities and other interested parties for the development of technical specifications. Industry uses standards to meet market needs - to support its competitiveness, to ensure acceptance of innovative solutions or to increase interoperability. Public authorities refer to standards in legislation, policies and procurement to achieve societal aims for safety, interoperability, accessibility, environmental performance, etc. While industry can use any standards, public authorities have a strong preference for, or even an obligation to use standards resulting from open, transparent and inclusive processes. However, through standard referencing and use, public authorities can help drive the competitiveness of industry and facilitate competition for the benefit of consumers.
The implementation of the current EU standardisation policy, is based on the work of the European standardisation organisations (ESOs) and their cooperation with the international standardisation organisations. It allows the Commission to invite the ESOs to undertake specific standardisation initiatives and enables the EU and the Member States to refer to European standards established by those organisations in legislation and policies.

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Record Number: 9850 / Last updated on: 2009-07-22
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