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Developing a prioritisation mechanism for research programming in standardisation related to natural hazards and/or CBRN-E sectors

Increasing resilience to natural disasters or CBRN-E events closely relies on management procedures, technologies and tools. An important feature supporting Disaster Risk Management and relevant international and EU policies is standardisation needed to improve the technical, operational and semantic interoperability of command, control and communication systems, or the interoperability of detection equipment and tools in the areas of CBRN-E. A range of actions have been undertaken to identify and prioritise standardisation activities, from pre-normative (design of new tools and methods) to co-normative (comparison / validation of existing tools and methods) research to mandate of mature items to European Standardisation Organisations via the CEN-CENELEC and ETSI. While some research projects delivered tangible CEN Workshop Agreements (CWAs) and made progress in standardisation-related research in the areas of natural hazards and CBRN-E civil protection and crisis management, no mechanism yet exists to ensure that standardisation is developed in close consultation with key stakeholders such as policy-makers and practitioners at all levels (European, national, regional and local). There is a need to ensure that any standardisation activities where a significant contribution to improve the disaster resilience through standardisation can be expected are developed in close cooperation with end users and prioritised with them while paying attention to the legal frameworks in place.

In this context it is important to remind that standardisation should support operations and policy-making to supplement it but should by no means substitute it. While standardisation of technology may be more straightforward, the right balance does especially have to be sought for processes. Based on existing or developing platforms, a prioritisation mechanism should hence be established, taking into account classification aspects (in particular in the CBRN-E sector), leading to decisions related to on-going or new standardisation items that should be directed in an organised way to pre- or co-normative research actions, CWAs or mandates, or to guidelines / Standard Operating Procedures not requiring formal standardisation (corporate voluntary agreements). This mechanism should have a close connection with future research programming and ensure close synergies with standardisation activities on European (e.g. CEN/TC 391) and international level (e.g. ISO/TC 292).

In order to achieve the expected outcomes of this topic, the involvement of chairs of relevant CEN and/or ISO Technical Committees in an advisory role/function is strongly encouraged.