How are standards drafted
The European standardisation is a system based on the principle of national delegation. CEN and CENELEC are European organisations made up of national standards bodies (NSBs). When CEN or CENELEC elaborate a new European Standard, they set up a European technical committee under the responsibility of one of its national members, and consisting of other national members (NSBs). At the same time NSBs create the so-called "National Mirror Committees" (reflecting the European technical committee on the Member State level), which enable all interested parties (enterprises, consumers, public authorities, NGOs, etc.) to participate in the creation of the standard at national level and in their own language. These National Mirror Committees elaborate a national position for the drafting and voting of a European standard, which is then presented at the European technical committee.
Developing a European StandardThe development of a European Standard (EN) is governed by the principles of consensus, openness, transparency, national commitment and technical coherence.
The development of a European Standard (EN) follows several steps:
Proposal to develop a European Standard (EN)Any interested party can introduce a proposal for new work in CEN. Most standardization work is proposed through the National Standardisation Bodies.
Acceptance of the proposalOnce a project to develop an EN is accepted by the relevant CEN Technical Body, or by the CEN Technical Board (in case the proposal is related to a new field of standardization activity), the member countries shall put all national activity within the scope of the project on hold. This obligation is called 'standstill' and allows efforts to be focused on the development of the EN.
DraftingThe EN is developed by experts within a Technical Body.
CEN Enquiry – Public comment at national levelOnce the draft of an EN is prepared, it is released for public comment (CEN Enquiry). During this public commenting stage, everyone who has an interest may comment on the draft. These views are collated by the CEN national members and analysed by the CEN Technical Body.
Adoption by weighted voteTaking into account the comments resulting from the CEN Enquiry, a final version is drafted, which is then submitted to the CEN national members for a weighted formal vote.
Publication of the ENAfter its publication, a European Standard must be given the status of national standard in all CEN member countries, which also have the obligation to withdraw any national standards that would conflict with it.
Review of the ENTo ensure that a European Standard is still current, it is reviewed at least within five years from its publication. This review results in the confirmation, modification, revision or withdrawal of the EN.
ETSI is based on direct participation of industry (without NSBs or other intermediaries) and also foresees national votes on European standards. The work done by ETSI is carried out in committees and working groups composed of technical experts from the Institute's member companies and organisations. These committees are often referred to as "Technical Bodies". For certain urgent items of work ETSI may also convene small groups of technical experts (Specialist Task Forces) usually seconded from ETSI members, to work intensively over a period of time, typically a few months, to accelerate the drafting work.