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Newsletter 2021/10 part 01

Standardization in Europe: DIN VDE and CENELEC – what counts?

In the EU countries, national standardization bodies are responsible for the adoption and publication of national standards. They regard European standards as equivalent to national standards and implement them accordingly. They are also withdrawing existing, incompatible national standards.

European standards are adopted by one of the three European standardization bodies:

  • European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
  • European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC)
  • European Telecommunications Standards Institute ( ETSI )

Member and partner states


European standards are developed in close collaboration with industry and other relevant members or partners of the European standardization bodies.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are represented in the standardization process by the association (standards for SMEs).

Harmonized standards

Harmonized standards are a special category of European standards, the development of which is commissioned by the European Commission to a European standardization body. About 20% of all European standards are developed according to a standardization order from the European Commission.

By complying with harmonized standards, you can prove that your products or services comply with the technical requirements of the relevant EU legislation.


Technical requirements in EU legislation are mandatory, while the use of harmonized standards is usually voluntary.

The technical specifications contained in harmonized standards are considered appropriate or sufficient to meet the technical requirements of the relevant EU legislation.

In most cases the application of harmonized standards is voluntary. As a manufacturer or service provider, you are free to choose a different technical solution to meet the requirements.

Source: Europa.eu

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