Euralarm: Marc, Market Driven Standardisation, the idea that considerations of market relevance should be taken more into account in our standardisation system, is a big topic for Euralarm. How did this come to be?
Marc Chenevoy: Back in 2013, the concept of Market Driven Standardisation was first proposed by a group of Euralarm Members frustrated with the current state of the European Standardisation System. This group included Chairmen of the CEN-CENELEC standardisation committees. Standards were just not being produced fast enough and we were always chasing behind the development of novel products and technologies. So we had a discussion on how to solve this problem.
How did this concept become a big priority for Euralarm?
Around the same timeframe, standardisation became a big topic for the European Commission. However, we had the sensation that, due to a lack of experience, they did not know how to tackle the existing issues.
Euralarm produced a White Paper which until today is a reference and which is simply called Market Driven Standardisation. We made sure that the paper was well circulated in the national associations, including our Members. Eventually, it came into the hands of the Commission.
What has been the response of the standardisation community to the paper?
CEN-CENELEC, the European platform for standardisation, offered a ten-page response to the White Paper, which shows that they have taken Euralarm’s issues seriously. In their reply, they have followed our arguments point by point. It was the starting point of the exceptionally close working relationship which we are enjoying with CEN-CENELEC.
The European Commission did prepare its own evaluation of the situation, including recommendations to CEN-CENELEC, which we compared to our paper. Being one of the organisations having put on paper our own ideas on the topic this gave us an advantage in our discussion with the CCMC, the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre.
How does this translate into Euralarm’s activities today?
Ms. Elena Santiago Cid, Director General at CEN and CENELEC, was a keynote speaker in our 2015 Symposium in Vienna. On this occasion, Euralarm Members had excellent discussions with her on the future of standardisation and it just seemed natural that we would continue this dialogue. We now meet every two months with Mr. Francisco Javier Verdara Mari, the Director of Strategic Partnerships at CEN and CENELEC. This is the reason behind the existence of Euralarm’s Technical Group on Market Driven Standardisation, which developments and documentation can now be followed by all of our Members.
From a broad policy paper we went to develop two tools: a very concrete inventory of open questions and points to follow-up on regarding larger processes, and a table listing all dysfunctions of the system which we come across in our day-to-day work on standardisation.
Is this the only way that Euralarm influences the future of the European Standardisation System?
We are also still working on the larger, EU policy-related picture through the Joint Initiative on Standardisation, or JIS. JIS is the place where some for our longstanding questions might finally find answers.