Internal Market: Joint open letter on industry competitiveness and EU standardisation

Published: 1 February 2021

Policies & Issues: Internal Market - Compliance, Standards & Enforcement

Orgalim, together with 17 European associations, has sent an open letter to Mr Pedro Siza Vieira, Minister of State for the Economy and the Digital Transition of Portugal and Chair of the EU Competitiveness Council, raising concerns regarding the European Commission’s over-prescriptive approach to EU harmonised standards and their treatment of standards as an “extension of EU law” rather than a market-driven implementation tool.

The co-signatories, representing businesses from a variety of sectors in Europe, invite the EU Council Presidency to urgently address the following issues:

  • consider the issue of harmonised standardisation as inseparable from the revision of the Industrial Strategy for Europe and the evaluation of the NLF for products

  • demand the Commission to stop treating harmonised standards as part of EU law, when not explicitly referred to as such in the sectoral legal acts, as this contradicts the well-established NLF principles

  • call on the Commission to re-establish the standardisation processes which have worked as a successful model under the NLF for many years, with the right balance of participation in the process from the Commission, Member States, European standardisation organisations and stakeholders

  • suggest this opportunity to the Commission to adjust the approach in the upcoming Standardisation and/or renewed Industrial Strategy, and subsequently in the standardisation procedures which should be geared towards enabling innovation and its market uptake, so that Europe proves the global leadership

  • always prioritise the well-established NLF route of the consensus-based harmonised standards over technical specifications in delegated or implementing acts


To read the letter in full, please download it above.


Federica Boledi
Adviser - Internal Market and Innovation

Related Position Papers

Internal Market: Joint Industry recommendations for effective Harmonised Standardisation [6 July 2021]

Internal Market: Joint open letter on industry competitiveness and EU standardisation [1 February 2021]

Internal Market: Orgalim comments on the NLF evaluation roadmap [2 December 2020]

Internal Market: Orgalim comments on the 2020 draft Blue Guide [13 November 2020]

Internal Market: Orgalim comments on the Draft Guidelines for the practical implementation of Article 4 of Regulation 2019/1020 on market surveillance and compliance of products [22 April 2020]

Internal Market: Shaping a New Deal for the Single Market: Harmonised standards in support of a competitive European industry [27 January 2020]

Internal Market: Suggestions for a revision of the Blue Guide on the implementation of EU product rules 2016 [27 January 2020]

Internal Market: For a restored mutual trust in a market-relevant European Standardisation System [24 September 2019]

Towards effective, efficient EU market surveillance: all for a level-playing field without additional burdens for legitimate manufacturers [6 December 2018]