The Seconded European Standardization Expert for China (SESEC) project was launched in May 2006. Its general objective has been to raise awareness on the European Standardization System, values and assets in China. From the beginning, the project is supported and operated by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), as well as by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Industry  (EC DG GROW) and by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

The European standardization bodies have over 25 years experience of cooperation with their counterparts in other countries and regions in order to make effective referencing of technological standards in the best interest of co-regulation and progressive innovation. In order to intensify dialogues with key partners in strategically important regions of increasing economic importance, CEN, CENELEC, ETSI and their members decided to establish a position for a “standards attaché” in those key regions. The growing importance of the Chinese market, its size and its rate of growth made it a priority.

The European Commission’s working document Action Plan for European Standardization confirmed that the first location where such a position was to be established was at the EU Delegation in Beijing. The idea of having European standards attachés in the key foreign markets is now generally being recognized as essential, both to foster the global outreach of European standardization and to support the European industry facing standardization related issues hampering market access to China.

The first phase of the SESEC’s activities covered the period from May 2006 to June 2009. As the project successfully met Chinese and European stakeholders’ expectations, a second edition followed from 2009 to 2012 and now a third one which started in September 2014 for a period of 3 years.

The project includes one full-time expert in Beijing, Dr Betty XU, one full-time assistant and one part-time assistant. It is under the authority and guidance of the Steering Committee composed of one representative from CEN, CENELEC, ETSI, the EU Commission, and EFTA, who has also the role to monitor and may decide on corrective measures to be undertaken, and periodically revise the project’s sectoral priorities to constantly fit the needs of the stakeholders.

SESEC III daily activities are coordinated and monitored by CEN in its capacity of project leader who also ensures the implementation of the project as agreed by the five partners.