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New Standards Guidelines ESOs Commission EFTA

European standardization policy has been brought up to date today as the result of the adoption of new guidelines between the European Commission (EC), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and the three official European Standards Organizations (ESOs).

These new guidelines were signed in Nice, France, by Erkki Liikanen, the EC Commissioner responsible for Enterprise & Information Society, EFTA Secretary-General William Rossier, and senior representatives of the three standards organizations. The signing ceremony took place during a conference on "Accessibility for all", organized by the ESOs - a conference that was set in the context of 2003 being designated the European Year of People with Disabilities, and which reflected the key role that standards play in the life of all people, regardless of their age and ability.

The guidelines replace the previous version established in November 1984, which laid down for the first time a common political understanding of the conditions under which the EC and the then two ESOs, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), would cooperate. Equivalent guidelines were signed between these ESOs and EFTA in 1985. Since then, many changes have taken place in Europe and beyond, economically, technologically, at a regulatory level and in standardization itself.

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