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International dimension of European standardisation

The use of common or technically aligned standards supports the exchange of goods and services by increasing interoperability at global level. The objective will be pursued by:

  • aiming for the widest possible coherence between international and European standards;
  • facilitating the use, or technical alignment, of European standards outside of the EU;
  • raising awareness and promoting the advantages of European standardisation;
  • contributing to the bilateral regulatory/policy dialogues between the EU and third countries, as well as to the relevant chapters of free trade agreements negotiations;
  • extending the Single Market through the European Neighbourhood policy.

Framework for cooperation

The EU can provide financial and technical assistance towards the implementation of the reforms necessary for the approximation of regulations. Such cooperation with partner countries can be achieved through:

  • increasing the sharing of European knowledge and expertise in standardisation through joint projects and initiatives;
  • assistance from European institutes and organisations for preparation of training courses and material (e.g. design aids and tools) for continuing professional development aimed at engineers and students;
  • networking on research and further development of standards for structural design.

The European Neighbourhood Policy

The objective of the European Neighbourhood Policy is to avoid the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its immediate neighbours by land or sea and to strengthen the prosperity, stability and security of all concerned.

The aims of the European Neighbourhood Policy related to trade and innovation comprise:

  • greater market opening towards a free trade area for goods and services;
  • convergence of legislative and regulatory frameworks;
  • integration of partner countries into the European Research Area;
  • enhanced regional cooperation through collaborative research on science, technology and innovation.

The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, 113kB is designed to target sustainable development and approximation to EU policies and standards. Technical assistance is provided for legislative approximation, regulatory convergence and institution-building.

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership is a wide framework of political, economic and social relations between the Member States of the European Union and Partners of the Southern Mediterranean. One of the main objectives of the Partnership is the establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area.

The harmonization of the legislative and regulatory frameworks of the Mediterranean Partners with those of the EU in areas such as standards, technical and environment regulations and competition laws is of central importance. Cooperation can be realised through:

  • encouraging the use of European technical rules, standards and conformity assessment procedures;
  • concluding agreements for the mutual recognition of certifications;
  • providing assistance to the National Authorities responsible for the standardisation and quality.


TAIEX is the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument of the European Commission. TAIEX supports public administrations with regard to the approximation, application and enforcement of EU legislation as well as facilitating the sharing of EU best practices.

JRC has supported TAIEX related events (workshops organization, expert study visits etc.) and relevant information have been published in the Eurocodes website.

Examples of TAIEX workshops & material that can be found in the website:

More information on TAIEX can be found here.