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CEN Summary, Background and Proposals related to European Commission Programming Mandate M/371 in the Field of Services


In October 2003, the European Commission and EFTA addressed Programming Mandate M/340 in the field of services to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. The Commission requested the delivery of a programme of standardization work in support to the Internal Market for services, giving priority to areas where intra-community trade already existed or was desirable. The Final Report submitted by CEN highlighted the need for a strategic approach to service standardization, whereby using all available resources to develop service standardization in a more structured way.

In July 2005, the EC and EFTA addressed the Second Programming Mandate M/371, in the field of services to CEN. This mandate was given to build upon the priorities identified in the first phase of programming, and to take account of existing activities.

Through Programming Mandate M/371, the EC and EFTA asked CEN to follow on from its proposed strategy and submit projects, whether sectoral or horizontal, that examine particular service areas, industries or processes in depth. Furthermore, it was noted that the work programme to be proposed by CEN would support the Internal Market and harmonization of services.

Following the European Commission's Mandate/M371, this Final Report provides an overview of current and future European service standardization activities, bringing together the results of all 11 projects into an overall comprehensive analysis. The report:

  • Summarizes the methodology and activities undertaken;
  • Outlines the overall findings from the research and seminars, highlighting:
    • details of standardization work already started at the CEN level;
    • details of standardization work to start following the feasibility work and needs for future service standardization activities;
  • Provides recommendations and conclusions.
  • Outlines the next steps.

CEN Recommendation Regarding Accessible Tourism Services

"Recommendation: creation of a CEN Workshop Agreement for accessibility services (including : signs, terminology, criteria, services specifications) Funding is requested from the EC/EFTA for the establishment of a Workshop (i.e. funding of the secretariat) Rationale: European consumers, European Federation representing disabled people, old people, family with their children etc are ready to work on this topic to produce European standards. But there are no funds to finance this kind of work. Financial support from EC/EFTA would allow stakeholders to start the work. Transport and tourism services providers consider that today they respect enough (even too many) requirements. Having their own priorities they are not in a hurry to work with other stakeholders, as they fear to be constrained to apply new added specifications. Thus they are not ready to finance this work but will support and be present if European work would start. With EC/EFTA financial support all stakeholders will be ready to meet and build consensus." (page 8).

Update, February 2010 (ENAT comment)

After the publication of the CEN/AFNOR study in May 2009, which recommended that the EC should fund the CEN Workshop Agreement proposed by ENAT, no such funding has yet been forthcoming from the European Commission. ENAT is eager to start the work with willing partners but funding is essential to enable this to happen.

ENAT Managing Director, Ivor Ambrose.