New voice to represent SMEs’ interests in the European Standardization System
Small Business Standards (SBS) is a new association that represents the interests of Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the European and international standardization systems. SBS is recognized as a partner organization of CEN and CENELEC, and may therefore nominate experts to participate in Technical Committees.
The need to encourage and support the participation of SMEs in the standards development process has been recognized by the European Union. The EU Regulation on European standardization (1025/2012) states that "European standards are of vital interest for the competitiveness of SMEs" and underlines the need for an entity that can ensure "appropriate representation and participation of SMEs in the European standardization process".
Small Business Standards (SBS) was set up last year by a consortium created by UEAPME (the European Association of Crafts and SMEs) and EBC (the European Builders Confederation). The members of SBS include various national and European (sectoral and inter-professional) associations that represent SMEs.
The SBS will play an important role in terms of raising awareness about the value of standards for SMEs, and informing its members about ongoing and forthcoming standardization activities at European level. The SBS has formally been accepted as a Partner Organization of both CEN and CENELEC, and several experts have been selected to represent the interests of SMEs in various Technical Committees, where they will ensure that European Standards meet SMEs’ needs.
Another organization involved in supporting SME's participation in standardization is the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). It was set up by the European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry) in 2008 with the aim of helping small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) make the most of the Single Market. EEN brings together around 600 business support organizations including chambers of commerce and industry, technology centres, research institutes and development agencies – from more than 50 countries.