Developing European Standards
CEN and CENELEC are committed to articulating their work with international standards bodies International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). In order to avoid duplication of work and support the harmonization of global markets, agreements were signed (Vienna Agreement between CEN and ISO, Dresden Agreement between CENELEC and IEC) in order to establish a methodology supporting this common wish. The result of this can be observed in the fact that 31% of CEN standards are identical to ISO standards, whereas 77% of CENELEC standards are identical to or based on IEC standards.
CEN/CENELEC deal with precise and limited subjects for which standardization is clearly and urgently needed, which can be pursued with intensive work and which are approved for inclusion in their programme of work.
Proposals for a standard may be made by CEN/CENELEC technical bodies, the European Commission or the EFTA Secretariat, by international organizations or by European trade, professional, technical or scientific organizations. Such proposals shall be presented to the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre, using the appropriate form provided by the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre, for submission to the Technical Board.
A European Standard (EN) is a normative document made available by CEN/CENELEC in the three official languages. The elaboration of a European Standard includes a public enquiry, followed by a formal vote of CEN/CENELEC national members and final ratification. The European Standard is announced at national level, published or endorsed as an identical national standard and every conflicting national standard is withdrawn. The content of a European Standard does not conflict with the content of any other EN (and HD for CENELEC). A European Standard is periodically reviewed. During the development and whole lifetime of the European Standard, standstill applies.
A Technical Specification (TS) is a normative document made available by CEN/CENELEC in at least one of the three official languages. A Technical Specification is established by a technical body, approved by the CEN/CENELEC national members and made available at national level, but conflicting national standards may continue to exist. A Technical Specification is not permitted to conflict with an EN (and HD for CENELEC). A Technical Specification is reviewed every 3 years at the latest.
A Technical Report (TR) is an informative document made available by CEN/CENELEC in at least one of the official languages, established by a technical body and approved by simple majority vote of CEN/CENELEC national members. A Technical Report gives information on the technical content of standardization work.
Technical Reports may be established in cases when it is considered urgent or advisable to provide information to the CEN/CENELEC national members, the European Commission, the EFTA Secretariat, European agencies or outside bodies, on the basis of collected data of a different kind from that which is normally published as an EN.
Harmonization Document is a normative document made available by CENELEC in the three official languages. The elaboration of a Harmonization Document includes a public enquiry, followed by an approval by weighted vote of CENELEC national members and final ratification. The Harmonization Document is announced at national level and every conflicting national standard is withdrawn. A Harmonization Document shall not conflict with any other EN (and HD for CENELEC). A Harmonization Document is periodically reviewed. During the elaboration and whole lifetime of the Harmonization Document, standstill applies.
A CEN/CENELEC Workshop Agreement (CWA) is a document made available by CEN/CENELEC in at least one of the official languages. It is an agreement, developed and approved by a CEN/CENELEC Workshop and owned by CEN/CENELEC as a publication, which reflects the consensus of identified individuals and organizations responsible for its contents. The Workshop Agreement is announced and possibly made available at national level. Conflicting national normative documents may continue to exist.
A CEN/CENELEC Workshop Agreement shall not conflict with an EN (and HD for CENELEC). A CWA shall be withdrawn if the publication of an EN (and HD for CENELEC) brings the CWA into conflict with the EN (and HD for CENELEC). During preparation of the CEN/CENELEC Workshop Agreement or after its adoption no standstill obligation exists.
ETSI produces a range of specifications, standards, reports and guides, each with its own particular purpose. Collectively they are all called standards or ‘deliverables’. The ability to produce these different types of documents allows ETSI to meet the variety of needs within the different industries it is serving.
Each type of standard also requires a different process of approval.
- European Standard (EN) – Used when the document is intended to meet needs specific to Europe and requires transposition into national standards, or when the drafting of the document is required under a mandate from the European Commission (EC)/European Free Trade Association (EFTA). An EN is drafted by a Technical Committee and approved by European National Standards Organizations.
- ETSI Standard (ES) – Used when the document contains technical requirements. An ES is submitted to the whole ETSI membership for approval.
- ETSI Guide (EG) – Used for guidance to ETSI in general on the handling of specific technical standardization activities. It is submitted to the whole ETSI membership for approval.
- ETSI Technical Specification (TS) – Used when the document contains technical requirements and it is important that it is available for use quickly. A TS is approved by the Technical Committee that drafted it.
- ETSI Technical Report (TR) – Used when the document contains explanatory material. A TR is approved by the Technical Committee that drafted it.
- ETSI Special Report (SR) – Used for various purposes, including to make information publicly available for reference. An SR is approved by the Technical Committee which produced it.
- ETSI Group Specification (GS) – Provides technical requirements or explanatory material or both. Produced and approved within our Industry Specification Groups (ISGs).
Access to CEN / CENELEC standards
CEN website offers also a “Search standards” function, which allows to search in the entire collection of published standards and standards under development. The search can be done by English title, standard reference, document type, ICS, progress status and committee. The results of the search may be displayed by Work Item number, standard reference or committee. The ‘More’ button in the last column of the search results gives the national implementations of the standards, with links to the websites of the CEN Members.
All standards are protected by copyrights and it is forbidden to copy them for further distribution or commercial use. CEN and CENELEC encourage the National Standard Bodies of third countries to identically adopt EN standards and there is no limitation on sales of adopted standards within the country. Translations into third country languages of adopted EN standards may be published and sold, however, royalties might apply.
Access to ETSI standards
ETSI standards can be downloaded in English free of charge directly from the ETSI website.
For re-publication of ETSI standards translated or in original language a copyright agreement with ETSI is required.
Source of information on the proceedings of European standardization organizations, including listings of all National Members: