EU takes aim at standards

EU takes aim at standards

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The European Union is to revise 69 standards that it sees as strategically important to the development of environmentally-friendly and digital technologies in the region.

The new Standardisation Strategy is accompanied by a a work programme covering 69 areas, including consumer appliances, electric motors, electric displays, external power supplies and predictive maintenance and digital twins as well as the production and recycling of all kinds of batteries.

It will also cover standards for responsible AI and the blockchain used for smart contracts that will impact on many electronic systems as well as standards in emerging technologies including quantum computing, 6G and the management of satellites in space.

“Ensuring that data is protected in artificial intelligence or ensuring that mobile devices are secure from hacking, rely on standards and must be in line with EU democratic values. In the same way, we need standards for the roll-out of important investment projects, like hydrogen or batteries, and to valorise innovation investment by providing EU companies with an important first-mover advantage,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age.

The fast pace of innovation and the implications of technological standards require an increasingly strategic approach to standardisation, it says. One example is the move to a single external charger for smartphones and tablets based on USB-C, and this standard is part of the work plan.

“Technical standards are of strategic importance. Europe’s technological sovereignty, ability to reduce dependencies and protection of EU values will rely on our ability to be a global standard-setter. With today’s Strategy, we are crystal-clear on our standardisation priorities and create the conditions for European standards to become global benchmarks. We take action to preserve the integrity of the European standardisation process, putting European SMEs and the European interest at the centre,” said Thierry Breton, commissioner for the Internal Market.

The work programme for 2022 covers 69 areas, and the EU also proposes an overhaul of the governance of national standard bodies in the region that are responsible for the implementation and enforcement.

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