As we enter 2024, a year destined to shape the future trajectory of both Europe and the European Standardization System, it is my great honour to present this Work Programme for CEN and CENELEC.

In this pivotal year, standardization is primed to play a crucial role in addressing the evolving needs of our continent. Succeeding in the green and digital transitions, powering the European industry, and fostering a competitive, innovative, and inclusive economy are among the challenges we face.

Against this backdrop, the upcoming European elections represent an opportunity for the European Union to renew its institutions and establish policy priorities for the years ahead. We eagerly look forward to collaborating with the new European institutions, leveraging the power of standards to shape Europe's future, strengthen the Single Market and ensure its resilience.

The input from the High-Level Forum for Standardization (HLF), based on priorities coordinated among Member States, industry representatives, societal stakeholders, SMES, Academia, and ESOs, and resulting in an Annual Union Work Programme (AUWP), is key to drive our activities: the issues at the top of the agenda include Hydrogen, Artificial Intelligence, Critical Raw Materials, Data Interoperability, and Education about standardization.

At the same time, delivering on CEN and CENELEC’s Digital transformation and business model innovation is imperative to ensure the sustainability of the European standardization system. This is even more important in the context of the ongoing evaluations of the Regulation on Standardization and of the Single Market program, the outcome of the European Court of Justice's ruling on Harmonized Standards, and the mid-term revision of the EU long-term budget 2021-2027.    

Our driver is the unwavering commitment to the effectiveness and strength of European Standardization, underpinned by a well-functioning European Standardization System.

Symbolizing our forward-looking approach, for the first time this Work Programme is fully digitalized. I invite you to navigate across the different chapters to discover the strategic highlights of 2024.

Dear friends of standardization: 2024 promises to be a year of progress, collaboration, and growth, for CEN and CENELEC and for the whole of Europe. Rooted in our tradition of excellence, the commitment of European standardization to supporting the EU's policy priorities continues. I am confident that, thanks to the work of our many experts and stakeholders, we will succeed in making Europe greener, more digital, and more competitive.

Strategic Highlights

Strategy 2030

The CEN and CENELEC Strategy 2030 frames the agenda of the two organizations within the context of the twin digital and green transitions, to ensure that their standardization systems and services serve as catalysts for a sustainable and globally competitive European economy.

The document identifies five strategic goals for CEN and CENELEC to focus on: 

  1. EU and EFTA to recognize and use the strategic value of the European standardization system
  2. Customers and stakeholders of CEN and CENELEC to benefit from state-of-the-art digital solutions
  3. The use and awareness of CEN and CENELEC deliverables to increase
  4. The CEN and CENELEC system to be the preferred choice for standardization in Europe
  5. The leadership and ambition of CEN and CENELEC at the international level to be strengthened

A rolling Implementation Plan has been in place since 2021 to establish a fit-for-purpose delivery architecture, enabling an agile and responsive implementation of Strategy 2030. This includes a Measurement Framework identifying Key Performance Indicators to monitor progress.

Central to the implementation of the Strategy 2030 is a project-based approach supported by a dedicated Project Management Office (PMO) within the CEN and CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC). A new directorate ‘Technology and Projects Excellence’ was established in 2023 to ensure that the PMO and the IT systems receive the required resources and recognition to support the implementation process and the associated organizational changes and best practices. 

While the implementation of the Strategy 2030 is centrally managed by the PMO function within CCMC, it is understood that several key dimensions for realizing CEN and CENELEC’s goals and commitments require focused efforts and investments at the national level. This is reflected in the Measurement Framework as well, where several KPIs identify the Members as primarily responsible. To hold Members accountable to their responsibilities in this regard, and to monitor their progress over time, a biennial Strategy 2030 Members’ Survey will be launched for the first time in Q1 2024.

The survey intends to focus on four cross-cutting areas (digital maturity, business model innovation, inclusiveness and diversity, and sustainability) where Members’ contributions are considered critical for achieving the commitments set out in the S2030, but where only limited or fragmented information about Members’ performance or progress is currently available. Together, the measurement framework and the biennial S2030 Members’ survey will constitute a robust basis to track progress and inform CEN and CENELEC’s decision-making of  as to where and when to prioritize new or enhanced efforts towards realizing shared and strategic goals. 

For 2024 specifically, the following three Strategic Projects have been approved for implementation:

  1. Timely Citation of Harmonized Standards. Based on the initiatives agreed upon within a joint ESO-EC taskforce, this project aims at addressing inefficiencies and challenges across the value chain of standardization processes in support of EU policies and legislation. The ultimate objective is to deliver a smooth referencing system for Harmonized Standards.
  2. Enabling Digital Transformation Strategy. This project is aimed at meeting the evolving needs of stakeholders by leveraging digital skills, business models and tools. This project was conceived from the outset as a multi-year project. In 2024, it will primarily focus on continuing the ongoing work on the following digital projects:
    • Online Collaborative Authoring: its objective is to provide an online tool for experts to develop standards which improves efficiency, collaboration, transparency and quality throughout the production chain;
    • Standards of the Future: it aims to ensure standards users have access to standards which meet their digitalization needs by enabling CEN and CENELEC members to develop machine-readable standards.
  1. High-Level Forum (HLF) Rapid Response Mechanism. This project will enable CEN and CENELEC to proactively position standardization in the High-Level Forum on European Standardization, established in 2023 as part of the EU Standardization Strategy. It will provide a rapid-response mechanism to new standardization proposals, contribute with new topics, coordinate the efforts across CEN and CENELEC Members and the Technical Boards and provide sustained support to the HLF representatives and CEN and CENELEC Sherpas.

Furthermore, CEN and CENELEC expect to launch a Shared Digital Infrastructure (SDI) in early 2024. At the heart of the SDI is an online Marketing Portal where CEN and CENELEC Members will be able to advertise, request, or simply browse digital services developed by their peers.

As a member-driven project, the SDI is meant to incentivize innovation and risk- and resource-sharing, and to allow participating Members to embrace the digital transformation of their processes and services at different speeds.

Governing the SDI is a Steering Committee that is made up of different categories of paying and non-paying Members, all using the portal in different capacities. It is the responsibility of this Steering Committee to oversee and take decisions on the operational and financial management of the CEN and CENELEC Shared Digital Infrastructure (SDI).

Considering the special nature of the SDI initiative as a project driven by a changing composition of CEN and CENELEC Members, a flexible legal vehicle had to be established to assume accountability over the financial and general management of the SDI. As such, a Consortium Agreement has been developed and revised, and it will be signed by an initial selection of participating Members in early 2024.




EU Policy

As a result of the initiatives undertaken by the European Commission in the framework of the new  European Standardization Strategy, standardization policy has gained exponential momentum.

After another year of milestones, the work expected in 2024 will continue to be a guiding force for a robust future of European Standardization. This motivation comes with the excitement of new changes expected from the European Elections in June 2024, as the European Institutions, with a renewed mandate, will prepare for five more years of policy priorities.

Of the list of milestones that were accomplished in 2023, several will continue into 2024. One in particular is the High-Level Forum (HLF), an expert group that combines the EU Member States and c-level industry representatives, to discuss gaps in European Standardization and future priorities for the standardization community. This work is divided by the SHERPA delegates into 17 workstreams. While a few of these closed in 2023, a few that are expected to continue in 2024 include Hydrogen, Artificial Intelligence, Wind, Critical Raw Materials, Data Interoperability and the Digital Product Passport.

Furthermore, as a result of the Education and Skills workstream, the members of the HLF committed to a pledge to improve the resources available for education about standardization. This pledge is not only a result of the HLF, but it also meets a key milestone of the strategy itself, with Education and Skills serving as one of the main pillars of the strategy. In addition to this work, the HLF will also begin drafting the Annual Union Work Programme (AUWP) on Standardization in March 2024.

Another highlight of 2024 will be the European Elections. CEN and CENELEC will be reaching out to Partners and Liaisons to work together and promote both the awareness and understanding of the European Standardization System. Through a year-long campaign and the publication of a manifesto, CEN and CENELEC will address key messages, while maintaining synergies between the European Standardization System’s activities with those of the European Commission’s policy agenda.  

While work on new legislation will take a pause for a few months because of the elections, there is still a list of priority files that will continue. 

One of CEN and CENELEC’s key priorities for policy engagement in 2024 will be the European Commission's Evaluation of Regulation 1025/2012. While this evaluation started in 2023, most of the evaluation activities will take place in 2024. This includes a 12-week public consultation, dedicated stakeholder interviews and a validation workshop once the evaluation is finalized. Target files will also include legislative proposals of the European Commission’s Annual Union Work Programme 2024: European Wind Strategy, European Hydrogen, Critical Raw Materials Act, Standard Essential Patents, European Health Data Space, and Cybersecurity. 

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Research and Innovation

CEN and CENELEC activities on Research and Innovation (R&I) are in line with the commitment expressed by their joint Strategy 2030 to deploy an inclusive standardization system where researchers and innovators are encouraged to bring forward their knowledge and contribute to the development of new standards.

The following key areas of activities will help to consolidate CEN and CENELEC ambitions towards Research and Innovation in 2024:

  • Horizon Europe projects. New projects funded by Horizon Europe with CEN and CENELEC as partners will start in 2024, covering a range of different areas. Project activities will include the development of standardization roadmaps in innovative areas, the promotion of the European Standardization System in target regions outside Europe (e.g. India, China, Southeast Asia, Western Balkans), as well as education about standardization for university students to attract a future generation of standards makers.
  • Promoting the role of standardization in the context of knowledge valorization. CEN and CENELEC will continue to promote the Code of Practice on Standardization for researchers and will remain actively engaged in the European Union campaign to promote its rollout during 2024.
  • Proactively influencing EU research agenda. During 2024, the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan for 2025-2027 will be launched, and preparatory work will begin for FP10, the successor of Horizon Europe. Therefore, seeking opportunities for facilitating the uptake and inclusion of standardization in R&I framework programmes coordinating Members’ positions and needs from technical bodies will be crucial.
  • Timely identification of innovative areas for standardization. Different foresight activities will be carried out to facilitate the identification of future standardization opportunities early on, including the delivery of the annual Putting Science into Standards (PSIS) workshop organised in collaboration with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. Other opportunities to reinforce the foresight capacities of CEN and CENELEC will be explored in 2024, linking with relevant bodies, initiatives and partners.
  • Standards+Innovation Awards. The 6th edition of the CEN and CENELEC Standards+Innovation Awards will be presented in 2024 to acknowledge and celebrate the important contributions of research and innovation to standardization. To know more about the awards and previous editions’ winners, you can visit the dedicated web page.

International Cooperation

CEN and CENELEC are committed, as a top priority, to promoting participation in ISO and IEC and the uptake of international standards by all partners.

In 2024, CEN and CENELEC will also work on developing the existing cooperation with their regional and national standardization partners.

Additional activities undertaken in the framework of these partnerships vary, depending on the topics of interest identified with each partner. Planned activities include:

  • Supporting the EU-Japan Industrial Policy Dialogue;
  • Hosting the 2024 CEN-CENELEC-JISC Secretariat meeting and identifying additional areas of common interest with JISC, the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee;
  • Continuing the dialogue and exchanges with SAC, the Standardization Administration of China, through CEN-CENELEC Task Force China, and supporting the EU-China Regulatory Dialogue;
  • Identifying further technical collaboration activities with GSO, the Gulf Regional Standardization Organization;
  • Identifying opportunities with regional and national partners on digital technologies and policies under the Horizon Europe Project InDiCo Global (International Digital Cooperation);
  • Supporting standardization-related discussions in the EU-US Trade and Technology Council;
  • Contributing to the Regulatory Coordination Forum for the implementation of the CETA Agreement (EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement);
  • Supporting any other negotiations and the implementation of free trade agreements (FTAs) between the European Union and third countries;
  • Realizing quality infrastructure related technical assistance projects in Africa, together with CEN-CENELEC’s African partners;
  • Exchanging on areas of mutual interest with BIS, the Bureau of Indian Standards (including Quantum Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, E-Mobility, and Hydrogen, as well as others to be mutually agreed upon in 2024), focusing on priority topics under the EU-India Trade and Technology Council.

In 2024, CEN and CENELEC will further strengthen their cooperation with the Companion Standardization Bodies (CSBs) by exploring opportunities to offer support to enable CSBs to further reap the benefits of this privileged status.

Finally, CEN and CENELEC will continue to further develop and promote their Global Outreach Report, their flagship publication on their international activities.  

The presence of European Standardization in Africa and China

In 2024, CEN and CENELEC, together with ETSI, EFTA and the European Commission, will continue supporting the two visibility projects: ‘Seconded European Standardization Expert in China’ (SESEC) and ‘Seconded European Standardization Expert in India’ (SESEI). These projects, which build on the success of the European Standardization model in sharing experiences, provide information and facilitate bilateral cooperation on standardization matters, thereby supporting European companies in accessing the Chinese and Indian markets. SESEC participates actively and effectively in Task Force China.

  • In China:

In 2024, the fifth phase of the SESEC project will continue to bring regulatory and standardization-related information to European stakeholders in line with the results of the stakeholder consultations carried out in 2023 and will submit its Interim Report. Discussions on the need for a next phase will be initiated in the second half of the year. 

  • In Africa:

In 2024, CEN and CENELEC are poised to provide support to their African Partners (ARSO and AFSEC) through the Continental project financed by the EU’s African Trade Competitiveness and Market Access Program, harnessing the work done by CEN and CENELEC's Task Force Africa in 2021 on the Africa Quality Infrastructure Roadmap, in line with the CEN-CENELEC Strategy 2030 Goal 5.



The organization of events is one of the most effective ways in which CEN and CENELEC raise awareness of the European standardization process and create lasting networks among all stakeholders involved in it.

In 2024, CEN and CENELEC plan to organize a series of online, in-person and hybrid events to meet direct stakeholders’ varied and evolving needs. The preliminary list of events proposed for 2024 contains a variety of concepts and focuses on CEN and CENELEC’s priorities for the future. Among them, the following are worth highlighting:

  • Stakeholders Engagement Workshop: Proactive stakeholder engagement activities allow CEN and CENELEC to position themselves on high-priority standardization topics and respond to newly emerging or urgent market needs in a timely manner. On 18 April 2024, CEN and CENELEC will organize a workshop to promote their activities on the standardization of Alternative Fuel Infrastructure (AFI) for road, rail, maritime, inland navigation, and aviation sectors. The aim of this workshop, organized in the framework of a European Commission grant, is to support EU legislation on AFI as well as other current or future sector-specific EU legislation on aviation sustainability and maritime fuels, and to show the work done and the challenges in the context of M/581, the central standardization request on AFI.
  • HAS Training: The success of the Single Market is based on the consistent quality of European standardization deliverables and an efficient CEN and CENELEC system. As part of the objective to support key stakeholders (National Standardization Bodies and National Committees, Technical Committees and Working Groups participants) involved in the development of Harmonized European Standards (hENs), a series of training programs and materials will be designed in 2024 to effectively support the development of hENs. In the first phase, these will focus on Machinery, Health, Low Voltage and Electromagnetic Compatibility and will be delivered during onsite seminars, in hybrid format during the first half of 2024.
  • Cybersecurity Standardization Conference 2024: The three European Standardization Organizations, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI, will be joining forces with ENISA, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, to organize the eighth edition of the Cybersecurity Standardization Conference. The event will take place on 5 March 2024. Its aim is to foster dialogue among policy makers, industry, research and standardization organizations, in order to effectively implement the EU cybersecurity legislation.
  • Standards+Innovation Awards. In 2024, CEN and CENELEC will host the 6th edition of the Standards+Innovation Awards. More information is available in the section ‘Research and Innovation’.

A complete overview of the events organized by CEN and CENELEC in 2024 will be available on the dedicated page on their website.