Friday, 13 January 2012

EU Draft Regulation on Standardisation – another glimpse into the ongoing debate

This is a follow-on from the post I published yesterday. As mentioned yesterday, in the context of the discussions on the EU draft Regulation on standardisation the ICT part (i.e. Chapter IV, Articles 9 and 10) has got high visibility.

I also mentioned yesterday that the proposal is discussed that Articles 9 and 10 should be merged and that for every single recognition of an ICT forum/consortium standards Article 18 (3) of the draft Regulation should apply. This was, for instance, proposed by CEN/CENELEC, not sure why. And it found its ways into the current draft positions.

As I was stating this would be far to complicated and would run the risk of totally killing the procedure. This is because Article 18 (3) points back to other rules and regulations and to a detailed voting procedure of the Member States.

To further illustrate this I took the effort to dive into the respective legal documents and list the legal rules. The picture below gives a brief overview:
In my opinion such a decision making process is far too complicated for the given purpose and objectives. After all, the recognition of ICT fora/consortia specifications as proposed by the Commission does not lead to any legally binding situation to implement and use these specifications. Far from it. A positive recognition only means that the respective standards may be referenced in policies or procurement. In the end it remains the decision of the policy maker or the procurer whether to actually reference the standard.

With the ICT Platform where all stakeholders are members (including the Member States and the ESOs) there will be a high level of openness and transparency ensuring that the Commission gets proper advice for the decision making on whether to recognise a forum/consortium specification. In my opinion, the proposal to apply Article 18(3) would turn a lean process into a very formal and complicated procedure with the risk that is will not lead to results.

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