The Commission presents its Work Programme for 2020.

SW – 11/2019

European standardization is meant to buttress companies’ competitiveness and contribute to product safety. On 28 October 2019, the European Commission presented its annual Work Programme and Annexe for 2020. This programme sets out the contracts envisaged by the Commission aiming to develop or revise harmonized European standards as well as its extended strategic priorities for the coming year.

Standardization mandates to bolster EU legislation

From the perspective of the German Social Insurance, the focus is to be set on such fields as health, labour protection, as well as the standardization to support compliance with accessibility requirements for products and services.


In line with Council Directive 96/29/Euratom laying down basic safety standards for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionizing radiation, the Commission intends to mandate harmonized standards for the design, manufacture, setting up, utilization, and performance check of radionuclide calibrators. The Commission intends to make a contribution to the dose optimization process by reviewing the radiation dose administered to patients through radionuclide calibrators.


The revision of standards aiming to support the implementation of the directive 2014/34/EU on the harmonization of the laws of the Member States relating to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres is meant to help us stay abreast of technological progress.


The Commission also intends to mandate harmonized standards to support compliance with accessibility requirements for products and services under Directive (EU) 2019/882. The aim is to harmonize the approaches used by manufacturers and service providers to comply with certain accessibility features.

Strategic orientation of standardization

Besides standardization aimed to support existing EU legislation, the strategic focus, too, is of interest to the European standardization system. The focus is, among other things, on cyber security and cyber defence, which in view of the machine safety and the handling of these machines in the workplace appear to be of growing importance for labour protection. The Commission wants European standardization organizations to concentrate on the development of standards helping to improve safety protocols, early detection and containment of cyber attacks as well as of those ensuring the interoperability of diverse Internet of Things networks.


Another focus is on the European interchange format for electronic patient records. The Commission wants the standardization organizations to support the deployment of the format it has recommended. To achieve this goal, standards for the protection of patient records should be developed and the safety of network and information systems serving as a basis for electronic patient records should be guaranteed.


As the Commission sees it, European standardization organizations should give high priority to the subject of “artificial intelligence” and the development of standards which reflect the European approach to the operation of systems based on AI. Standardization is meant to assist in coping with challenges resulting from AI technologies, especially with regard to safety, liability and ethic aspects.

Looking ahead

As has been announced in its European Standardization Work Programme for 2019, the Commission intends to take a closer look at the economic and socio-political implications of standardization. To this end, the Commission will launch a study, the results of which will be available in 2021.