European and Russian Agreement
Leaders from the European and Russian standardization organizations have signed a historic agreement in St Petersburg on the 17th September. The Cooperation Agreement between CEN, CENELEC and Rosstandart provides a framework for closer collaboration on various aspects of standardization, which will facilitate trade in goods and services between Europe and Russia.
The three organizations – CEN (European Committee for Standardization), CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) and Rosstandart (Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Russian Federation) – have committed themselves to working together on issues of joint interest, in order to enable the mutual acceptance, compatibility and recognition of standards. By promoting the harmonization of standards at international level, they will help to facilitate trade in goods and services between Europe and Russia, thereby contributing to sustainable growth.
The Cooperation Agreement was signed on 17 September by the Presidents of CEN and CENELEC, respectively Mr Friedrich Smaxwil and Mr Tore Trondvold, and by the Head of Rosstandart, Mr Grigory Elkin, at a ceremony in St Petersburg (Russia), where the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is holding its 36th General Assembly.
The signing ceremony was attended by representatives of the European Commission (Mr Antti Peltomäki, Deputy Director General of DG Entreprise and Industry), the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation (Mr Konstantin Leonidov), the EU-Russia Industrialists Round Table (Mrs Isabelle Heller) and the Russian Association of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (Mr Andreï Lotsmanov), as well as various National Standards Bodies and National Committees (members of CEN and CENELEC) and other stakeholders.
The Cooperation Agreement between CEN, CENELEC and Rosstandart provides a framework to facilitate the sharing of information, the transfer of technical knowledge and the exchange of best practices. There will be regular meetings between the three organizations to discuss issues of common interest and identify opportunities for collaboration. It will also be possible for European experts to attend meetings of Russian Technical Committees (and vice-versa).
By developing and deepening their cooperation in the field of standardization, CEN, CENELEC and Rosstandart will contribute to the growth of trade between Europe and Russia and the establishment of a ‘Common Economic Space’ – as agreed between the European Union and the Russian Federation at the St Petersburg Summit in May 2003. In particular, they will support the ‘Partnership for Modernisation’ that was agreed at the EU-Russia summit in Rostov-on-Don (31 May – 1 June 2010), and which includes “promoting alignment of technical regulations and standards” among its priority areas.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in St Petersburg, Mr Tore Trondvold, President of CENELEC and Chairman of the CEN-CENELEC Presidential Committee, said: “This is truly a historic agreement. It provides us with a clear framework within which we can deepen our cooperation with Rosstandart and work towards the harmonization of standards for products and services. This will create new opportunities for increased trade between Russia and Europe, which as we all know is crucial both for economic growth and for employment – also in the long term.”
Representing the EU-Russia Industrialists Round Table (IRT), Mrs Isabelle Heller (Convenor of the IRT Task Group on standardization and certification) said: “The alignment of standards between Europe and Russia, notably through the increased use of international and European standards, should lead to important economic benefits such as increased levels of investment in key industries, and technological cooperation between companies in the EU and EFTA countries and the Russian Federation.”