Presentation on theme: "23 November 2011 Strengthening the consumer voice in the development of standards Raising Standards for Consumers 1 IMCO public hearing – 23 November 2011."— Presentation transcript:
23 November 2011 Strengthening the consumer voice in the development of standards Raising Standards for Consumers 1 IMCO public hearing – 23 November 2011 Stephen Russell ANEC Secretary-General
The detailed ANEC position 23 November 2011 Raising Standards for Consumers 2 The detailed ANEC position on the draft Standardisation Regulation was adopted on 14 October 2011, World Standards Day. The position paper, which includes our proposed amendments, can be downloaded from: http://tinyurl.com/6zvutbq
The Annex III organisations 23 November 2011 Raising Standards for Consumers 3 ANEC welcomes the proposal for the Regulation to recognise those European organisations established specifically to represent weaker stakeholders in the European Standardisation System (the Annex III organisations). This builds on the recognition of the Access to Standardisation Study; the EXPRESS Report; the Kožušník Report and EP Resolution of 21 October 2010. In March 2011, the European Commission published an independent mid-term evaluation of the present Consumer Programme (http://tinyurl.com/66nseel): The work undertaken by ANEC was highlighted as being essential to product safety and standardisation activities, and it was remarked by consultees that, without ANEC, work on standardisation would be very difficult for national organisations to feed into or support. In its recommendations, the evaluation stresses one of four key priorities for EU funding in the area of consumer policy should remain the activities of ANEC given their importance to standardisation work at the EU level.
Representation vs Influence 23 November 2011 Raising Standards for Consumers 4 The traditional process of standards development is founded on a voluntary participation. Stakeholders themselves decide whether to participate in particular standards work based on their own resources and priorities. If the Institutions want to guarantee the participation of all parties in particular standards work, they should discuss the creation (and funding) of an alternative production line with CEN/CENELEC/ETSI (Action 10 of the Communication). Moreover, the representation of the weaker stakeholders through the Annex III organisations will not be enough without effective influence. We believe the Regulation should assess the European Standards Organisations on whether Annex III organisations have an effective membership (to quote Paragraph 34 of the EP Resolution of 21 October 2010), and not on whether they ensure an appropriate representation.
The need for effective membership 23 November 2011 Raising Standards for Consumers 5 Many mini-motorbikes are capable of exceeding 64km/h. Some can be bought for as little as 150. Following several fatal accidents involving children, CEN was mandated by the European Commission to develop a European Standard for the safety of mini motorbikes under the Machinery Directive. Despite fundamental and sustained opposition from ANEC at the lack of requirements for age or speed limits in the draft standard, CEN/TC 354 agreed to send the draft of EN 16029 for the Formal Vote of adoption. The vote closes on 10 January 2012. At least 7 fatalities in the UK alone between 2004 & 2006
What could be an effective membership? 23 November 2011 Raising Standards for Consumers 6 Our position paper on the draft Regulation proposes some ideas : 1.The views of the participants from Annex III organisations being included in the consensus of the technical committee; 2.Consensus to be implemented as the absence of sustained opposition to substantial issues (as it is defined in ISO/IEC Guide 2 & EN 45020); 3.A more independent mechanism for appeals in the European Standards Organisations against the publication of deficient European standards. Notes a)This proposal does not imply the need for a vote in the European Standardisation System for Annex III organisations (reflecting the EP Resolution of 21 October 2010) b)Consensus is different from unanimity. Consensus does give any interest a veto in the process but it should allow fundamental opposition to be addressed.
Broadening stakeholder consultation 23 November 2011 Raising Standards for Consumers 7 The Regulation intends to limit the participation in the present Directive 98/34 Committee to the Member States and the European Institutions. This may be an unwelcome but unavoidable consequence of comitology. Given the wish of the Single Market Act to extend the use of standardisation, it is essential for all stakeholders to have a voice in the Institutional discussion of standards issues, and in the regulatory approach to standardisation. Hence ANEC proposes creation of a multi-stakeholder platform, open to European associations from across the social & economic spectrum, and to the representatives of the European Standardisation System. It makes no sense to have a dedicated platform for the ICT Sector (Action 21 of the Communication) without such a horizontal structure.
23 November 2011 8 Thank you for listening www.anec.eu Raising Standards for Consumers http://companies.to/anec