European Committee for Standardization

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European Committee for Standardization
Comité Européen de Normalisation
Europäisches Komitee für Normung
TypeRegional standards organization
The logo of the European Committee for Standardization for aluminium recycling. CEN recycling aluminium.svg
The logo of the European Committee for Standardization for aluminium recycling.

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN, French : Comité Européen de Normalisation) is a public standards organization whose mission is to foster the economy of the European Single Market and the wider European continent in global trading, the welfare of European citizens and the environment by providing an efficient infrastructure to interested parties for the development, maintenance and distribution of coherent sets of standards and specifications.


The CEN was founded in 1961. Its thirty-four national members work together to develop European Standards (ENs) in various sectors to build a European internal market for goods and services and to position Europe in the global economy. CEN is officially recognized as a European standards body by the European Union, European Free Trade Association and the United Kingdom; the other official European standards bodies are the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). [1] [2]

More than 60,000 technical experts as well as business federations, consumer and other societal interest organizations are involved in the CEN network that reaches over 460 million people. CEN is the officially recognized standardization representative for sectors other than electrotechnical (CENELEC) and telecommunications (ETSI). On 12 February 1999, the European Parliament noted in a resolution that CEN, CENELEC and ETSI co-operate smoothly and that a merger of the three standardization bodies would not have clear advantages. [3]

The standardization bodies of the thirty national members represent the twenty seven member states of the European Union, three countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the United Kingdom and other countries that are highly integrated into the European economy. CEN is contributing to the objectives of the European Union and European Economic Area with technical standards (EN standards) which promote free trade, the safety of workers and consumers, interoperability of networks, environmental protection, exploitation of research and development programmes, and public procurement. An example of harmonized standards are those for materials and products used in construction and listed under the Construction Products Directive. The CE mark is a declaration by the manufacturer that a product complies with all relevant EU directives.

CEN (together with CENELEC) provide a CEN/CENELEC platform [4] for the development of European Standards and other technical specifications across a wide range of sectors, also ensuring that standards correspond with any relevant EU legislation.

CEN (together with CENELEC) owns the Keymark, a voluntary quality mark for products and services. A product bearing the Keymark demonstrates conformity to European Standards.


On June 9, 2022, it was announced that ASTM International and CEN have agreed to extend and expand a Technical Cooperation Agreement from 2019. [5]


The current CEN Members are:

The current affiliates are Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Tunisia and Ukraine. [7]

The current partner standardization bodies are Australia, Canada, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. [8]

Vienna Agreement

The Vienna Agreement was signed by CEN and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1991 but came in force in the mid-2000s. Its primary aim is to avoid duplication of (potentially conflicting) standards between CEN and ISO. In the last decade CEN has adopted a number of ISO standards which replaced the corresponding CEN standards. [9]

See also

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  1. Council Directive 83/189/EEC of 28 March 1983 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations. Official Journal of the European Communities. 26 April 1983. This directive only recognizes CEN and CENELEC as European standards institutions. Accessed 2009-04-27.
  2. See Annex 1 of Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure Archived 11 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine . Official Journal of the European Communities. 21 July 1998. Accessed 2009-04-27.
  3. "Resolution on the report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament 'Efficiency and Accountability in European Standardisation under the New Approach'(COM(98)0291 − C4-0442/98)". Official Journal of the European Communities. European Parliament. 12 February 1999. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2009. Other language versions can be accessed from European Commission: Directorate General Enterprise and Industry: Standardisation
  4. "CENCENELEC plateform". Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  5. "ASTM International and CEN Extend and Expand Cooperation Program | NEWSROOM". Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  6. "CEN members". Archived from the original on 27 September 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  7. "CEN affiliates". Archived from the original on 27 September 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  8. "CEN partner standardization bodies". Archived from the original on 8 May 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  9. G. Malcorps, I. Quintana-Soria (2007). The Vienna Agreement – CEN as an International Partner (PDF). CEN StandarDays (Day 2 –Session 5). CEN.