In a featured on Wednesday strategy the Brussels authority urges, among other things, that such standardization processes, which can take years, be completed more quickly in the EU. It is about environmental and labor standards, for example in mining, or uniform safety precautions for technical equipment. Such standards can have a significant impact on the global economy.
In addition to accelerated procedures, the competent authorities should exchange information better. In order to achieve these goals, a law on standardization is to be revised, among other things. A leading role in the main standardization bodies is also crucial for the EU, the Commission said. The responsible EU Commissioner Thierry Breton emphasized that Chinese or American companies sometimes have more than half of the votes in standardization committees and therefore have great influence.
Uniform standards characterize many goods. Without them, daily life would be more difficult and international trade would be slowed down. Standards ensure, for example, that containers from Asia fit on German freighters, that shoe sizes are clearly defined and that plugs also work in other countries. There are various organizations for this. The German Institute for Standardization (DIN) or the European Institute for Telecommunications Standards (ETSI) are just two examples.
The EU Commission fears that Europe could lose touch and may have to conform to the standards of others in the future. “We noticed that China launched a new standardization strategy about four months ago,” said an EU official. With this, the country is also advancing with its technical expertise in the field of European standardization.
China is well aware that standards determine the markets. ‘They, like us, are looking for ways to promote standards that they think are the right way to go,’ said the EU official. Beijing is also increasingly expanding its own capacities and expertise through its companies. Through branches in Europe, they also participated in European standardization bodies in various committees.
The Federation of German Industries (BDI) calls for technology standards to be made an integral part of European trade strategies in the future and to be a targeted instrument of industrial policy. (dpa/rs)