Opportunities and processes for CEN technical bodies to enable technical cooperation with counterpart bodies from non-European countries 

This page provides guidance on the process

  • for CEN technical bodies to request participation in technical bodies of Regional/National Standardization outside CEN membership, and
  • to enable the participation of a body or company from a country outside CEN membership in the activities of a CEN technical body or Working Group (CEN/TC/WG).

Such participation may be directly requested by that body or company, or by a CEN technical body.

1 CEN TECHNICAL BODIES’ REQUESTS FOR OBSERVING THE WORK OF STANDARDIZATION BODIES LOCATED OUTSIDE EUROPE OR FOR SETTING UP JOINT WORKING GROUPS

1.1 Introduction

Over the years, CEN has developed formal and informal partnerships with numerous regional and national standardization bodies outside Europe. Detailed information about these partnership frameworks is available on the common website of CEN and CENELEC, within its International Cooperation section. Some of these partnerships open the possibility to request an observer status in technical bodies, while others may provide an opportunity to set up joint working groups in areas of mutual interest.

1.2 Policy Guidance

 1.2.1 In principle, the appointment of European observers in the work of CEN Partners’ technical activities or the setup of joint working groups can bring numerous benefits, in particular in areas that are not covered by ISO activities. Bilateral cooperation can also be complementary to the international discussions taking place in ISO technical bodies. In the long run, these activities help achieve further technical harmonization with countries and regions concerned.

 1.2.2 CEN technical bodies should bear in mind existing possibilities to engage in bilateral cooperation with CEN formal partners, and may use these possibilities as they deem appropriate to support their objectives. International Cooperation Unit in CCMC is available to provide guidance and support in using available technical cooperation channels.

1.3 Process Guidance

CEN formal and informal cooperation frameworks with foreign partners can take a variety of shapes, as they have been developed on an ad hoc basis. As a result, interested Technical Committees should seek advice from the CCMC Programme Manager following their activities and from the  Unit Manager International Cooperation.

2 REQUESTS FOR OBSERVING ACTIVITIES OF CEN TECHNICAL BODIES

2.1 Introduction

2.1.1 In accordance with the CEN rules, the following bodies are allowed to appoint (a) representative(s) to participate, with defined rights and obligations, in any meeting of a CEN/TC:

  • a CEN National Member;
  • an Affiliate;
  • a Companion Standardization Body (CSB) (provided there is an endeavour to adopt as national standards the ENs as developed by the TCs in which it participates);
  • an ISO Technical Committee (up to four representatives, formally appointed by the ISO/TC, preference being given to delegates from non-CEN Members);

and, in accordance with the CEN-CENELEC Guide 25 on ‘The concept of Partnership with European Organizations and other stakeholders’:

  • a Partner Organization;
  • a Liaison Organization;
  • an Associated Body;
  • a European Counsellor;
  • a European Institutional Stakeholder;
  • another Cooperating Organization with which an ad hoc formal agreement has been signed with CEN.

The same bodies are allowed to appoint (a) representative(s) to participate in any activity of a CEN/TC/SC or CEN/TC/WG under the same conditions, with the following additional possibility: to be appointed by the parent CEN/TC.

2.1.2 It happens from time to time that a CEN/TC Secretariat or CCMC receives a request from a body or company from a “third country” or “third region” (i.e. a country or region in which the recognized Standardization Body has no formal cooperation with CEN) that wishes to send (a) representative(s) to participate in activities of a CEN technical body or CEN/TC/WG. It also happens that a CEN technical body or CEN/TC/WG wishes to invite an expert from a third country or region for particular reasons (e.g. need for specific expertise not available within the CEN membership).

In principle, such participation can be made possible through an appointment by one of the bodies mentioned in clause 2.1.1 above, for instance by an ISO/TC whose activities are related to those of a CEN technical body or CEN/TC/WG concerned.

However, there are cases where the provisions in 2.1.1 cannot be applied. For instance, where a body or company from a third country or region has an interest in the development of one or more work items in the programme of a CEN/TC but there is no international organization in liaison with the CEN/TC nor is there a related ISO Technical Committee.

2.2 Policy Guidance

2.2.1 In principle, participation in CEN technical bodies should be facilitated as much as possible. Indeed, openness and transparency are essential values of the CEN system. Moreover, unjustified restrictions with regard to participation of non-Europeans in European standardization could be challenged within the framework of the WTO.

2.2.2 However, it should also be borne in mind that CEN technical bodies are set up at the initiative of the stakeholders in the field concerned, who have consciously decided to work at European level and have chosen CEN as the system for the development of the standards they need, knowing what the CEN rules are with regard to participation in CEN technical bodies. As a consequence, these stakeholders should be given the possibility to decide on a possible participation in 'their' technical body in cases where such participation is not provided for in the CEN rules. Since the stakeholders should be present in the CEN technical body concerned, a decision of that CEN technical body seems to be an adequate means to formalize the decision on such a possible participation.

2.3 Process Guidance

2.3.1 Requests received from a body or company from a third country

2.3.1.1 Any request from a body or company from a third country or region that wishes to appoint (a) representative(s) to participate in the activities of a CEN technical body or CEN/TC/WG shall be addressed to the Secretary of the CEN/TC, with copy to the  CCMC Unit Manager International Cooperation. The application should include a rationale for participation, the expected scope of this participation (i.e. whether limited to a specific timeframe/meeting/activity/SC/WG or not, any specific area of interest), the profile and contact details of the representative(s) that may be granted access to relevant CEN technical bodies or CEN/TC/WG activities and tools.

2.3.1.2 The CEN/TC Secretary shall first consider with the body or company that made the request whether such participation cannot be accommodated within the rules (see 2.1.1, above). If there is an ISO Technical Committee whose scope covers subject(s) in which the body or company is interested, requests to participate in the CEN technical structure shall be made through this ISO/TC in accordance with the Vienna Agreement. If there is any  doubt or uncertainty, the CEN/TC Secretary shall consult the CCMC International Cooperation Unit.

2.3.1.3 If such participation cannot be accommodated according to 2.1.1 above, the CEN/TC Secretary shall check that the request is supported by the ISO Member of the country of the body or company that made the request. This is a necessary condition for carrying on with the treatment of the request. If the request is not supported by the ISO Member concerned, the CEN/TC Secretary shall inform the body or company that its request cannot be accepted.

2.3.1.4 If the request is supported by the ISO Member of the country of the body or company that made the request, the CEN/TC Secretary shall, in consultation with the CEN/TC Chairman, submit the request to the CEN/TC for decision, together with evidence that the ISO Member of the country of the body or company that made the request supports this request, as well as the expected scope of this potential participation.

2.3.1.5 The CEN/TC, guided by its Secretary and Chairman, shall:

  • consider the request on the basis of the principles of openness and transparency (see 2.2.1, above); but also
  • check that the request is justified by providing added value to the CEN technical work; and
  • confirm its acceptance (or justified rejection) of the request through a TC Decision. For acceptance, the TC Decision shall clarify the precise scope of the accepted participation (i.e. whether limited to a specific timeframe/meeting/activity/SC/WG or not) and justify any limitation to the requested scope. The participation shall be limited to a maximum of 3 representatives of the body or company that issued the request.

The CEN/TC should seriously consider the implications of accepting participation of more than one body or company from the same country outside CEN Membership at any one meeting.

The following criteria may be used as a basis for rejecting a request to participate in the technical structure or for limiting its scope:

  • existence of an ISO/TC covering the subject;
  • too many bodies or companies from the same third country are asking or already participating in the technical structure;
  • added-value and/or justification of the participation has not been clearly established.

Representatives whose participation is accepted by the CEN/TC will be considered as observers (with no voting rights) or as experts (if the participation is limited to CEN/TC/WG activities), as stipulated in the CEN/TC Decision.

2.3.1.6 The CEN/TC Secretary informs the body or company that has asked to participate of the decision of the TC, and sends a copy of the TC decision to tcminares@cencenelec.eu and to the CCMC Unit Manager International Cooperation.

2.3.2 Requests expressed by a CEN technical body member or WG expert

2.3.2.1 Any CEN technical body member or WG Expert wishing to invite (a) representative(s) of a body or company from a third country or region to participate in the activities of a CEN technical body or CEN/TC/WG shall  address its request to the Secretary of the CEN/TC, with copy to the CCMC Unit Manager International Cooperation. The request should include a rationale for this invitation, the expected scope of the invitation (i.e. whether limited to a specific timeframe/meeting/activity/SC/WG or not, any specific area of interest), the profile and contact details of the representative(s) that may be granted an access to relevant CEN technical body or CEN/TC/WG activities and tools.

2.3.2.2 The CEN/TC Secretary shall first consider whether such participation cannot be accommodated within the rules (see Clause 2.1.1 above).

2.3.2.3 If such participation cannot be accommodated according to 2.1.1. above, the CEN/TC Secretary shall, in consultation with the CEN/TC Chairman, submit the request to the CEN/TC for decision.

2.3.2.4 The CEN/TC, guided by its Secretary and Chairman, shall:

  • consider the request on the basis of the principles of openness and transparency (see 2.2.1, above); but also
  • check that the request is justified by providing added value to the CEN technical work; and
  • confirm its acceptance (or justified rejection) of the request through a TC Decision. For acceptance, the TC Decision shall clarify the precise scope of the accepted participation (i.e. whether limited to a specific timeframe/meeting/activity/SC/WG or not). The participation shall be limited to a maximum of 3 representatives of the body or company invited.

The CEN/TC should seriously consider the implications of accepting participation of more than one body or company from the same country or region outside CEN Membership at any one meeting.

Representative(s) invited by the CEN/TC will be considered as observers (with no voting rights) or as experts (if the participation is limited to CEN/TC/WG activities), as stipulated in the CEN/TC Decision.

2.3.2.5 The CEN/TC Secretary shall inform the body or company that has been invited to participate of the decision of the TC, and sends a copy of the TC decision to tcminares@cencenelec.eu and to the CCMC Unit Manager International Cooperation.

2017-01-19