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SBS (the European association representing SMEs in the standard
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SMEs to be better included in the standardisation process

June 01, 2016

SBS (the European association representing SMEs in the standard making process at European and international levels) welcomes a series of documents relating to standardisation published today by the European Commission. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-1962_en.htm Indeed, SBS supports these measures aimed at a better inclusion of SMEs in the standardisation process and hence to ensure standards can be used by smaller companies.

Standards are increasingly relevant for placing products on the market and accessing new markets and must therefore be SME friendly. ”Effective standards enable SMEs to more easily access markets for their products in all countries across the European Union and abroad”, commented SBS President Gunilla Almgren following the Commission’s communication. The EC’s publication(1) is comprised of a communication on standards, a guidance on service standards, the Joint Initiative on European Standardisation, evaluation reports on the European Standardisation System as well as the Annual Union work programme for European standardisation.

It is crucial that SMEs take part in the standardisation system. “SBS therefore supports the Commission’s call to increase SME participation in order to develop standards that are more compatible for SMEs”, added President Almgren. The Joint Initiative on European Standardisation, which foresees a specific action to improve the representation of the interests of SMEs in international standardisation processes, is a step in the right direction.

With its communication on standards and services, the Commission wants to boost the development of standards for services, which has, to date, been slow. President Almgren warns that “services is such a broad and diverse sector that the focus should be only on those areas for which the benefits of implementing standards exceed the costs. Indeed, standards must be market driven and cater for the needs of SMEs and not cause undue and unnecessary administrative and bureaucratic burdens or obstacles”, concluded President Almgren.



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