Standardisation experts meet in EFTA on 22 June 2011

Published 23-06-2011
The European Office of Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises for Standardisation - NORMAPME - held a meeting with its technical experts on 22 June, hosted by EFTA in Brussels.

The role of NORMAPME is to represent the voice of crafts and SMEs in standardisation committees and policy discussions. It has a secretariat of 15 people in Brussels and currently relies on a network of 49 technical experts from around Europe who participate in 59 technical committees, mainly in CEN but also in CENELEC, ETSI, ISO and IEC.

Tore N. Thomassen from the EFTA Secretariat welcomed the particpants, underlining that an appropirate participation of SMEs in standardiation is important to EFTA.

One of the main purposes of the meeting was to inform experts about the Standardisation Package adopted by the European Commission on 1 June 2011. Ms Renate Weissenhorn, Head of the Standardisation Unit at DG Enterprise, described the most important change as a strategic one: In the past, standardisation was seen as a means to achieve the Single Market, but competitiveness and innovation are now at the heart of the new strategy that aims to make the EU a stronger and more competitive block. Ms Weissenhorn acknowledged the role of NORMAPME by saying that ”participation of SME experts in technical committees is really crucial“. The Standardisation Package is highly relevant to the future of the organisation.

The meeting also included discussions with the CEN CENELEC Management Centre, represented by Ms Joelle Colaers and Ms Andrea Gulasci, on how to facilitate the participation of NORMAPME experts in European technical committees, and on how NORMAPME can increase its contribution to standardisation through its experts and consultations at national level.

NORMAPME is mainly financed through the European Union's Competiveness and Innovation (CIP) Framework Programme, which Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway participate in through the EEA Agreement.


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