|CENELEC is the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization and is responsible for standardization in the electrotechnical engineering field. CENELEC prepares voluntary standards, which help facilitate trade between countries, create new markets, cut compliance costs and support the development of a Single European Market.
CENELEC is responsible for European standardization in the area of electrical engineering. Together with ETSI (telecommunications) and CEN (other technical areas), it forms the European system for technical standardization. Standards harmonised by these agencies are regularly adopted in many countries outside Europe which follow European technical standards.
Standards are driven by business, and drafted by technical experts in the field. In building European consensus, industry, trade federations, public authorities, academia and NGO representatives are invited to contribute to the standardization process. It is this open participation, which accounts for the strength of European standardization.
The route for participating in the development of European Standards is through national members (NSBs/NCs). They send balanced delegations to represent the concerned interests in a standardization project. European trade associations and interest groups - representing environmentalists, consumers, trade unions, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, amongst others - also have the opportunity to contribute to the development of a standard.
Participation in the process allows a stakeholder to anticipate changes to standards in his sector as well as have a say in the content. A manufacturer wishing to participate in the CENELEC process contacts his NC, either directly or through a trade association. Through the National Committee, the manufacturer can become involved in a national mirror committee, which is responsible for developing the national position on a particular standard and presenting this position to the relevant CENELEC Technical Body. It may also be possible to become a member of the national delegation of the CENELEC Technical Body, or to be nominated to serve as a technical expert in one of the Working Groups.