Sector activities within CEN

Three layers in charge of operational activities ensure the efficiency of the CEN processes, namely:

  • the Technical Board for policy setting, coordination, overall management and arbitration;
  • the Technical Committee for the programming, planning and management of the consensus building process within the limits of its scope;
  • the Technical Committee Working Group for the drafting of standards in accordance with the specifications set by the parent Technical Committee.

It has been recognized, however, that some sector activities, such as the dissemination or exchange of information and/or experience, and finding solutions to sector related problems, are valuable in addressing and coordinating specific standardization issues.

This document provides guidance on how sector activities within CEN should operate.


As economic sectors/markets evolve spontaneously and define themselves on a continuous basis, requests for support in answering the needs of a certain sector can be addressed to CEN. Such requests can be formulated by any of the CEN sector partners to the Technical Board, via the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC), with full justification and planning for the organization of sector activities.


CEN's approach to requests for support from the different sectors is flexible and oriented at solving the problems or responding to the particular needs expressed by the sector partners.
Depending on the needs expressed, some of the sector activities which CEN can offer are as follows:

3.1 Newsletter

The need for exchange and dissemination of information amongst the sector partners may be fulfilled by the circulation of a newsletter. Information may also be made available by means of the leaflet 'CONNECT', produced every three months by the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre on the CEN-CENELEC Website. Specific information on the current situation in a particular sector can also be made available on the Sectors area of the CEN Website.

3.2 Meetings, seminars or workshops

Where a particular problem involving a limited number of participants is met, such as a European Federation finding incoherencies in European Standards produced by different Technical Committees, a meeting may be organized with the interested parties, with the purpose of resolving the particular issue. Such a meeting would include the participation of the Technical Committees’ Chairpersons and Secretaries.

For general exchange of information and experience involving a large number of partners and participants, an interactive event such as a conference or seminar can be envisaged.

For discussion on a certain subject of interest for standardization involving a bigger group of stakeholders or, for example, where assistance is required by the relevant Technical Committees in the interpretation of legislative environmental regulations (e.g. European Directives), a workshop (other than the CEN-CENELEC Workshop), with input from the experts capable of interpreting the requirements, may be organized.

Any such meetings, seminars or workshops could be convened by CCMC or the sector partner concerned (or by the Sector Rapporteur where applicable).

3.3  Technical Board Working Group (BT/WG)

Where there is an identified technical need for information, advice, a study (work programme, prioritization,…),  or rules within a particular sector, a BT/WG can be created, with the participation of the CEN Members, relevant sector partners possibly involving CENELEC and/or ETSI and CEN Technical Committees. This activity would in particular apply to cases for which the decision of the Technical Board is required.

3.4 Short term groups with a dedicated task

Short term groups can be created to deal with specific needs, without developing European Deliverables and reporting to the Technical Board:

  • Coordination Groups to coordinate and advise on standardization activities on a specific topic, involving multiple technical bodies, without developing standardization activities itself.
  • Focus Groups to ensure the interaction between all relevant European stakeholders interested in potential standardization in a new field or subject.

Where relevant these groups can involve CENELEC and/or ETSI.

3.5 Long term solutions

3.5.1 Sector Structure (Forum, Strategic Advisory Board, Advisory Nucleus)

To respond to the need for an integrated long-term interface amongst a number of Technical Committees in the industrial sector and relevant CEN partners, a formal structure such as a Sector Forum, a Strategic Advisory Board or Advisory Nucleus, can be set up. Such a structure is valuable in the resolution of common problems and the monitoring of progress of a program until its accomplishment. It could also be responsible for presenting CEN with proposals for new fields of activities within the sector and across sectors, as well as taking initiatives to resolve duplication of work.
BT members appoint participants to a sector structure, ensuring that CEN's partners are involved in the planning and running of its activities.
The Secretariat is provided by a CEN Member which benefits from the support of CCMC. Administrative aspects are reduced to the essential and formal meetings kept to a minimum.

3.5.2 The Sector Rapporteur

A Sector structure (see 3.4) is chaired by a Sector Rapporteur who is appointed by the Technical Board for his/her competence, at the initiative of the sector partners,  for a period of three  years. The Sector Rapporteur is the spokesperson for the sector and formalizes the link between the sector partners and CEN, particularly at Technical Board level. This role would include:

  • Reporting on Sector events, incidents and needs;
  • Requesting decisions based on sector recommendations;
  • Executing specific missions given by the Technical Board;
  • Representing the sector on behalf of CEN as needed;
  • Coordinating consensus building and the resolution of issues within a sector on a case-by-case basis.

The Sector Rapporteur's mission is not to take up management responsibilities or make decisions on, for example, the programme of work in the sector or to commit CEN's resources, unless explicitly so requested by the Technical Board.

Should the sector interests not be adequately represented by the Sector Rapporteur, the sector partners may make a proposal to the Technical Board for a replacement.


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