Effective participation of Societal Stakeholders in Standardization 

This page describes the process supporting the Societal Stakeholders Organizations’ right to submit an Opinion

1 INTRODUCTION

Standards have a broad impact on society, in particular on the safety and well-being of consumers, environmental protection, workers’ safety and working conditions and accessibility. Regulation (EU) 1025/2012 stresses the importance of participation of societal stakeholders at national level and complementing this through support at the European level from the recognized European organizations representing consumers (ANEC), environmental interests (ECOS) and social interests (ETUC). The active contribution of these organizations is valuable for European standardization, in particular as the expertise needed to represent societal stakeholders effectively in the process of standards development at national level is often weak or absent.
CEN and CENELEC in partnership with ANEC, ECOS and ETUC agreed to embark on a project ‘Effective participation of societal stakeholders in standardization’ to enable these organizations to play ‘a more central role in the standardization process’, to raise their profile and understanding of their role in standardization, and to create a more distinct working relationship.

2 CEN &CENELEC CA DECISIONS

The CEN and CENELEC Administrative Boards (CAs) have agreed in November 2016 on 3 concrete measures to support and facilitate the effective participation of societal stakeholders to the standardization system and to address interface issues with the international standardization systems.

CEN and CENELEC CAs:

  • agreed that the 'Opinion' mechanism as developed by CEN and CENELEC BTs shall be deployed as of 1 January 2017 and that information is provided in advance to all technical bodies;
  • agreed to the preparation of a package of actions to support Societal Stakeholder Organizations at international level;
  • approved the measures to raise awareness of the role of Societal Stakeholder Organizations through the updating of CEN-CENELEC Guide 25 and development of a brochure, in cooperation with ANEC, ECOS and ETUC.

3 RIGHT TO SUBMIT AN OPINION 

From 1 January 2017 on, Societal Stakeholder Organizations (SSO) that are referred to as Annex III organizations in EU Regulation 1025/2012 and that signed a partnership agreement with CEN or CENELEC - at present ANEC, ECOS and ETUC - have the right to submit an Opinion on (final) draft standards.

The Societal Stakeholder Organizations fill in a template to submit their Opinion. Apart from information on the submitting organization, details on the technical body, the work item, at what stage the standard is, and the Opinion itself, the submitter also provides information on the participation of the SSO in the development of the standard and comments already submitted (if any).

Societal Stakeholder Organizations are encouraged to submit an Opinion on (final) draft standards where they have participated in the work. Societal Stakeholder Organizations should convey their Opinion in a sensitive and constructive way for the relevant TC to take it on-board.

The Opinion does not form part of the ballot and does not affect the outcome of the vote, nor does it affect the national delegation principle or challenge the consensus building. There is a clear distinction between an Opinion and a comment. There is no change regarding the right to submit comments during the standards development process.

4 OPINION MECHANISM AND TIMEFRAME

4.1 Opinion during Enquiry

  • The SSO Secretariat has the right to submit an Opinion during the Enquiry phase by sending the filled in template to the CEN and CENELEC Technical Board Secretariat (bt@cencenelec.eu).
  • When received, CCMC forwards the Opinion to the TC/SC Chairperson and Secretary and informs BT.
  • Upon reception, the TC/SC Secretary immediately uploads it on the eCommittee tool (for CEN) or the Collaboration Tool (for CENELEC) and informs the TC/SC that this Opinion needs to be considered together with all the comments submitted during Enquiry.
  • Should the SSO wish to introduce changes to the text of the standard under development, this is done through the regular commenting process i.e. through the submission of comments.
  • CCMC also attaches the Opinion to the ‘Voting Results’ file and uploads it on eTrans (CEN)/FTP site (CENELEC) for the TC/SC and CEN-CENELEC members to view.
  • The TC/SC decides on the follow up to be given to the Opinion.
  • The TC/SC Secretary informs CCMC (bt@cencenelec.eu) of the corresponding TC/SC decision.

4.2 Opinion during Formal Vote

  • The SSO Secretariat has also the right to submit an Opinion during the Formal Vote by sending the filled in template to the Technical Board Secretariat (bt@cencenelec.eu).
  • When received, CCMC forwards the Opinion to the TC/SC Chairperson and Secretary and informs BT.
  • Upon reception, the TC/SC Secretary immediately uploads it on the eCommittee tool (for CEN) or the Collaboration Tool (for CENELEC) and informs the TC/SC that this Opinion needs to be considered during the first occasion the TC/SC has, which will in most cases be its next meeting.
  • Any possible residual comment on the text of the final draft standard is submitted through the regular commenting process.
  • CCMC also attaches the Opinion to the ‘Voting Results’ file and uploads it on eTrans (CEN)/FTP site (CENELEC) for the TC/SC and CEN-CENELEC members to view.
  • The TC/SC agrees on the follow up to be given to the Opinion.
  • The TC/SC Secretary informs CCMC (bt@cencenelec.eu) of the TC/SC decision.

4.3 BT involvement

  • CCMC informs BT for each step of the Opinion mechanism
     • Reception of Opinion
     • Follow-up as agreed by TC/SC
  • A 'Register of Opinions' will be a standing item on the CEN and CENELEC BT agenda’s, which will allow tracking of the Opinion for all BT participants, including the Societal Stakeholder Organizations.

4.4 Information to SSOs on follow-up

Societal Stakeholder Organizations are informed of the follow up given to the Opinion via the BT channel and through the CEN-CENELEC Societal Stakeholder Group in which they participate.

2017-03-23