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The importance of Eurocodes for the EU

by Reinhard Klein, former Head of Construction Unit, DG ENTR

For the EU, the overriding policy objective linked to the Eurocodes is the creation of an Internal Market with the free circulation of products and services while guaranteeing a high level of safety in construction works. This means cross-border trade of construction products, but in particular also cross-border provision of services of highest possible quality and best common skills, e.g. by engineers, architects, and enterprises executing works. This enhances the competitiveness of the sector and of our economy at large. As any European standard, the EN Eurocodes are also part of the common compulsory reference in Public Procurement.

Eurocodes will enhance competitiveness of European civil engineering firms, contractors, designers and producers of structural products also in a global context. Indeed, there is a high potential for them being a recognised international reference beyond Europe. Being the result of cross-border cooperation between scientists, experts and national standardisation bodies, they can be assumed to correspond to the best and latest state of knowledge, to be universally applicable and to be simply superior to internationally competing standards.

The Eurocodes will get their life and value in practice from national application, i.e. the will of those involved in construction to use them. Therefore, important matters relate to the adoption of the Eurocodes by Member States for use under their regulation. With Eurocodes, Member States keep exclusive competence and responsibility for safety and for the levels of safety of works. National Annexes allow the Member States to lay down the Nationally Determined Parameters (values, classes or alternative methods) applicable in each Member State among the choice given in the Eurocode EN.

This web site is the official online resource for news and information regarding the implementation of the EN Eurocodes. It was designed and developed under the Administrative Arrangement between the Directorate General Enterprise and Industry and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission regarding Support to the implementation, harmonization and further development of the Eurocodes'. This Eurocodes site aims at joining and coordinating the efforts of the Commission, CEN/TC250 and National Authorities in the implementation, use, further harmonization and evolution of the EN Eurocodes. In this context, the contribution of the National Authorities is very needed and welcome.