First of all, Happy New Year to you all – above all good health, success and lots of luck.
For ICT standardisation in Europe the New Year starts with great news. Just before Christmas the European Commission published the EU Rolling Plan on ICT Standardisation. This is a work programme focussing on how ICT standards and specifications can support EU policies across all different Commission Directorates.
For the first time such a concise document is available providing advice to the Commission Services on the availability of standards and specifications, including global ICT specifications, and providing a plan for ICT standards bodies of how policy making in Europe can be supported by standardisation. It also provides a high level of transparency to all stakeholders and to the public. This Rolling Plan has the potential to further drive the use and implementation of standards and specifications in policy contexts in Europe – and it may shine beyond the borders of the EU.
The Rolling Plan is part of what had been introduced with Regulation 1025/2012. It was developed by the European Commission in close collaboration with the EU ICT Multi-Stakeholder Platform with the involvement of the Member States, Industry, European and global standards bodies, societal stakeholders. It therefore reflects a broad consensus on needs and opportunities for standardisation. And it is a great result – amongst others – of the productive and forward-looking work of the ICT Multi-Stakeholder Platform.
The Rolling Plan is available for download from the Commission website. It consists of two introductory chapters outlining the strategic thinking behind the Rolling Plan and the opportunities for implementation of standards. The major part of the Rolling Plan is chapter 3 which looks at standardisation in the context of the policy priorities identified by the European Commission. Finally, a chapter 4 also highlights horizontal standards and specifications that are of relevance across many ICT implementations.
Congratulations to the European Commission for developing this Rolling Plan and creating such a valuable level of planning around ICT standardisation in the context of EU policy making.