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ANSI and ESO Leaders Meet in Madrid to Address High-Priority Issues for U.S. and EU Standards Systems

Recently released EXPRESS Report on the European standardization system tops the agenda

New York, Mar 01, 2010

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) met with leadership of the European Standards Organizations (ESOs) and representatives of the European Commission this week to address a number of high-priority issues that are affecting both the U.S. and European standardization systems. At the forefront of discussions was the recently released EXPRESS Report entitled “Standardization for a competitive and innovative Europe: a vision for 2020.”

Depending upon how the report is implemented by the European Commission, the recommendations outlined by EXPRESS could spell significant changes to the current European standardization system. According to discussions held during this week’s meetings, the results of the study are expected to be known sometime this summer.

What is the EXPRESS Report?

EXPRESS, the Expert Panel for the Review of the European Standardization System, was formed in January 2009 to examine how the existing strengths of the European system could be built upon and enhanced.

Over the course of the year-long study, EXPRESS also looked at issues surrounding coordination between the various standardizing bodies in the marketplace: both the formally recognized ESOs and others, such as fora and consortia.

Finally, the Panel saw a need to rearticulate the benefits of, and need for, standardization in a changing world, and to address how standardization can and should meet the needs of policymakers and public authorities.

The final EXPRESS Report was issued earlier this week and is available for download here. A detailed analysis is being prepared and will be shared with ANSI members in the near future.

“On behalf of our members and U.S. stakeholders, ANSI has been monitoring the progress of the EXPRESS Report for more than a year,” said Gary Kushnier, ANSI vice president, international policy. “Now that the final report has been issued, we are conducting a detailed review and analysis which will outline key findings and potential implications for the U.S. standards and conformance community.”

The EXPRESS Report was just one of the important topics addressed at the ANSI-ESO–Joint Presidents Group (JPG) meeting on February 23, 2010. ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia led a 15-person U.S. delegation to the JPG meeting, which featured representatives and leaders of industry, government, and private sector standards organizations from both regions.

For more than twenty years, JPG meetings have promoted mutual transparency of the regions’ systems, have engaged both the public and private sectors, and have offered opportunities to address policy issues that impact both the U.S. and Europe.

The first JPG session’s discussions included standardization for smart grids, smart meters, and electric vehicles, as well as standards policy and security policy issues. The second session updated participants on the EXPRESS Report as well as the activities of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) and the High Level Regulatory Forum (HLRF).

On February 24, 2010, the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification (AENOR) continued the transatlantic dialogue by hosting a Workshop On Standards: Better Regulation and Innovation, The European and American Experience. The event was attended by over 160 representatives from the European and American standards communities.

Mr. Bhatia provided introductory remarks to kick-off the event, highlighting the importance of the transatlantic trade partnership in fostering bilateral trade expansion and economic growth in the U.S. and the EU.

“Taking a seat at the table where standards are set can be the most effective way for companies to influence future regulation,” explained Mr. Bhatia. “However, businesses are not the only stakeholders that will benefit from an enhanced transatlantic trade partnership. Policy makers and regulators in our respective governments also recognize the significant benefit of standards and conformance procedures that can be accepted everywhere,” said Mr. Bhatia.

Workshop attendees included leaders from the ESOs – the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) – the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the U.S. Commercial Service, as well representatives from the EC and from a number of ANSI’s company and organizational members.

Follow-up dialogue between ANSI and the ESOs will continue in 2010 and may include discussions regarding policy coordination fora between the U.S. and Europe. ANSI will host the next JPG meeting during the first half of 2011 in Washington, DC.

Looking for a chance to weigh in on the EXPRESS Report?
Through participation in the Institute’s policy committees, ANSI members have early access to information and intelligence like the EXPRESS Report, giving organizations an opportunity to learn, prepare, and respond strategically to the issues that affect their business.

To learn more about the benefits of ANSI membership, visit

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