The ANEC Strategy sets the framework for all ANEC activities. In June 2013, the General Assembly adopted the Strategy for 2014 to 2020. It is intended to achieve the ANEC Vision 2020:

  • A sustainable Europe where the health, safety and well-being of consumers is paramount, where goods and services are accessible, fit for purpose and in compliance with legislation and standards;
  • A European Standardisation System in which the consumer interest is not only represented in standards work that will affect consumers but is influential, innovative and key in decision-making;
  • A Europe where consumer engagement is achieved at national and European level, with balance between consumer and business interests;
  • A balance between legislation and standardisation that ensures the highest levels of protection and welfare for all European consumers, regardless of age or ability.

The Strategy is supported by 10 strategic objectives, with their implementation to be achieved through annual action plans, adopted by the General Assembly and managed on its behalf by the Steering Committee as board of the association. The annual action plans are themselves supported by annual work programmes that detail the tasks in both the political and technical sectors of ANEC activities.

Several actions have already successfully concluded: Action 5 on the Joint Initiative on Standardisation (JIS), Action 7 on the European Accessibility Act (EAA), Action 11 on Market Surveillance Regulation, Action 13 on PROSAFE jointactions, showing tangible results before the end of the Strategy. As of February 2020, Action 14 on Better Regulation also concluded successfully, with remaining actions being continuous and likely to be transposed to the Strategy 2030.

An evaluation of the results of the Strategy will be made to the ANEC General Assembly in June 2021, ahead of the adoption of the ANEC Strategy 2030.

Particular items of focus within the political and horizontal activities of ANEC are:

  • our contribution as an “Annex III Organisation” to the implementation of Regulation (EU) 1025/2012 (including the EC Committee on Standards; EC Annual Union Work Programme for European Standardisation; Joint initiative on Standardisation)
  • enhancing consumer participation in standardisation
  • the training of consumer experts and consumer representatives
  • participation in the governance of the European Standardisation Organisations
  • our contribution to the European consumer programme
  • strengthening the framework for market surveillance and enforcement
  • strengthening the framework for the safety of consumer products
  • communications, events and dissemination of information
  • collaboration with our sister organisations: BEUC, Consumers International, ICRT

News and recent success stories

Strengthening the framework for market surveillance

On 14 June 2019, the Economic & Financial Affairs Council approved Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 on the market surveillance and compliance of products, confirming the agreement of the European Parliament (EP). The new rules will apply two years from the date of entry into force. A number of provisions will however apply as of 1 January 2021.

ANEC believes that the legislation will strengthen market surveillance and contribute to consumer safety. We appreciate the provisions of the Regulation to enhance traceability in the supply chain and to improve the organisation and financing of market surveillance authorities. We also welcome the intensified checks on the safety of products sold online, and the facilitated reporting on accident & injury data at European level.

ANEC contributes further to review of Machinery Directive

During August 2019, ANEC contributed to a public consultation on the possible revision of the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC), the second phase of the review process announced by the European Commission (EC) at the beginning of 2019.

During the consultation, we stressed the need to update the Directive to improve safety levels further and take account of the latest IT innovations, addressing aspects related to emerging digital technologies (e.g. AI, cybersecurity, IoT). Moreover, we proposed to add accessibility requirements in the Directive, and to make reference to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (mirroring the Lifts Directive, for example). Furthermore, we reiterated our long-held concerns about the continued absence of a European legal framework for fairground & amusement park equipment.

Over the years, the concept and design of amusement park equipment has evolved, leading to bigger, and more exciting (but more hazardous) attractions. Unfortunately, there remain instances of very serious accidents. Noting the growing popularity of e-scooters, we believe the Machinery Directive could be used to address some of the risks arising from use of these vehicles. For example, the possibility to introduce an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS), similar to that for hybrid or electric cars.

Our final points touched on sustainable consumption. We asked for the revision to consider the renting of machines (e.g. DIY tools) by consumers. For fuller information, see https://bit.ly/2m04Z8G.

ANEC Vice-President appointed to represent ANEC in the CAG (ISO/COPOLCO)

We are delighted that Jens Henriksson, ANEC Vice-President and a long-standing member of COPOLCO, has been appointed to represent ANEC in the CAG during its 2020/2021 term.

In order to enable the ISO Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO) to contribute as effectively as possible to the implementation of the ISO Strategy 2030, its Chair, Guillermo Zucal (Argentina), has put in place a restructuring of the COPOLCO Chair’s Advisory Group (CAG). The aim is to transform the CAG into a smaller, strategic committee which develops proposals for the annual COPOLCO plenaries. Membership of the CAG is now personal and not transferrable.

Apart from the participation of a limited number of representatives from the national standards bodies among the ISO membership, a select few seats have been made available to other organisations to ensure broad discussion and such is the appointment of the Vice-President of ANEC. In welcoming Jens’s appointment, ANEC Secretary-General, Stephen Russell, said “it is essential the consumer movement helps to guide ISO in its ambitions to address the environmental, technological and societal challenges now facing the world. The new CAG is a platform to do that and I welcome the appointment of ANEC (and Consumers International) to its membership”.

Portrait Jens

ANEC comments on standardisation rules

In September 2019, ANEC responded to a stakeholder consultation by the European Commission on draft guidance on practical aspects of the implementation of Regulation (EU) 1025/2012, known informally as the “Standardisation Regulation”.

Our comments focused on Standardisation Requests (SReqs) and the procedure for resolving Formal Objections. We believe there is need for a clear and precise definition of the temporal validity of SReqs. Regarding Formal Objections, we commented that the process takes too long and can lead to misunderstandings among stakeholders (including the Member States and ESOs). Hence we proposed deadlines for the procedure (and revision of related standards).