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Targeted Consultation on Standardisation Agreements in the Horizontal Guidelines

Targeted Consultation on Standardisation Agreements in the Horizontal Guidelines: What You Need to Know

The European Commission recently launched a targeted consultation on standardisation agreements in the horizontal guidelines, inviting stakeholders to provide their feedback on this important issue. For businesses engaged in standardisation activities, this is a crucial opportunity to have their voices heard and to help shape the future of EU policy in this area.

What are standardisation agreements?

Standardisation agreements, or SAIs, are agreements between different parties aimed at creating technical standards for a particular industry or sector. These agreements can cover a wide range of issues, from product specifications to testing procedures, and are designed to ensure that products and services are of a consistent quality. SAIs can be developed by trade associations, standardisation organisations, or individual companies.

Why are SAIs important?

SAIs are a cornerstone of many sectors of the economy, particularly those that rely on technology and innovation. They provide a common language for businesses, enabling them to work together more effectively and reducing the need for costly and time-consuming negotiations. By establishing clear technical standards, SAIs also help to promote innovation and competition, ensuring that new products and services are able to enter the market more easily.

What is the targeted consultation on SAIs?

The targeted consultation on SAIs is part of the European Commission`s wider review of the horizontal guidelines for the application of EU competition law. The consultation seeks to gather feedback from stakeholders on a range of issues related to SAIs, including their role in promoting competition, their impact on innovation, and the potential risks and benefits they pose to consumers.

Who can participate in the consultation?

The consultation is open to all interested parties, including businesses, trade associations, standardisation organisations, consumer groups, and individual citizens. The deadline for responses is 17 September 2021.

What are the key issues at stake?

There are a number of key issues that will be addressed in the consultation, including:

– The role of SAIs in promoting innovation and competition

– The potential risks and benefits of SAIs for consumers

– The need for greater transparency and openness in the standardisation process

– The potential impact of SAIs on interoperability and standardisation across different sectors

– The relationship between SAIs and intellectual property rights

What are the potential outcomes of the consultation?

The outcomes of the consultation are not yet clear, but they could have significant implications for businesses engaged in standardisation activities. Depending on the feedback received, the European Commission may decide to revise its guidelines on SAIs, introducing new rules on transparency, interoperability, and intellectual property rights. This could be particularly important for businesses operating in highly regulated sectors, such as telecommunications and energy, where SAIs play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with EU regulations.

In conclusion, the targeted consultation on standardisation agreements in the horizontal guidelines presents an important opportunity for businesses and other stakeholders to provide their input on this key issue. By sharing your views and experiences, you can help to shape the future of EU policy on SAIs and ensure that your business is able to operate in a fair and competitive environment.