The interests of society in standardization

All our work at ETSI is guided by openness and inclusiveness, as seen by our:

  • Transparent consensus-based decision making process
  • Direct participation of all interested stakeholders, locally and globally
  • Free download of all our standards
  • A network of partnerships with other similar organizations worldwide
  • Dedicated representation of societal stakeholders and SMEs
  • Specific measures to ensure our work takes into account society’s needs

Our standards are not merely technical documents. A choice of technology can have a wide-ranging impact:

  • We can choose technologies which have little, or significant environmental impact
  • We can choose technologies which assist, or impede users with specific abilities
  • We can choose technologies which meet, or ignore society’s needs

It is important that our work takes account of market and societal needs at the same time, and that societal stakeholders are represented alongside the technical experts from our members.

Four organizations are recognized by the European Commission to represent the interests of societal stakeholders and SMEs in European Standardization. These are:

  • ANEC, representing consumers
  • ECOS, representing environmental interests,
  • ETUC representing social interests
  • SBS, representing SMEs

Their role is outlined in the European Union’s Regulation on European Standardization, 1025/2012.

ETSI has developed the 3SI Programme to ensure their opinions are better heard.

In addition, each of these organizations is an ETSI member and participates directly in our work, with the same rights as any other member.

The contribution societal stakeholders bring

ANEC, ECOS and ETUC bring a wealth of technical expertise to the standards development process. Through their participation, the standards development process benefits from perspectives that are otherwise often missing.

Not only do ANEC, ECOS and ETUC enhance the quality of standards, they also contribute to building confidence in the standardization system. This has long been recognized by policy makers and cemented with the adoption of Regulation (EU) 1025/2012 on European Standardization.

About ANEC

ANEC is the European consumer voice in standardization, defending the collective consumer interests in the processes of technical standardization, conformity assessment, accreditation and market surveillance as well as related legislation and public policies.

ANEC was established in 1995 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law and is open to the representation of national consumer organizations in 34 countries.

ANEC is funded by the European Union and EFTA, with national consumer organizations contributing in kind. Its Secretariat is based in Brussels.

About ECOS

Established in 2001, ECOS is the only organization worldwide working to defend the environmental interests in standardization.

Supported by over 40 environmental NGOs across Europe and beyond, and with a strong pool of independent experts, ECOS contributes to the development process of standards at European and international level, and to related laws and policies. ECOS also advocates for the principles of transparency and inclusiveness to be ensured in standardization.

ECOS’ goal is to contribute to the development of ambitious strategies to reduce environmental impacts, promote resource and energy efficiency, and ensure a healthy environment.

About ETUC

ETUC, the European Trade Union Confederation, is the voice of European workers in standardization. With 45 million members from 89 trade union organizations in 39 European countries, plus 10 European Trade Union Federations, ETUC promotes high quality working conditions for workers in the standardization process.

ETUC launched the ETUC STAND project to strengthen the worker's voice in standardisation to ensure standards promote high-quality working conditions. We aim to ensure that the EU is not just a single market for goods and services, but also a Social Europe, where improving the wellbeing of workers and their families is an equally important priority. We defend fundamental social values such as solidarity, equality, democracy, social justice and cohesion.

ETUC works on a range of areas of relevance for workers. These include industrial advancement and services standards (e.g. maintenance & facility management, horizontal services, healthcare). Our work on standards is co-financed by the European Commission and EFTA Member States.

About SBS

Small Business Standards (SBS) is a European non-profit association (aisbl) co-financed by the European Commission and EFTA Member States. Its goal is to represent and defend small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the standardization process at European and international levels. Moreover, it aims at raising the awareness of SMEs about the benefits of standards and at encouraging them to get involved in the standardization process.

SBS was established to meet the European Union’s aspiration to make the standardization system as inclusive, transparent and open as possible in line with Regulation 1025/2012 on the European Standardization System.