ETUC resolution on the rationale for trade union participation in standardisation

ETUC resolution on the rationale for trade union participation in standardisation


Adopted at the ETUC Executive Committee on 16-17 December 2015

Reiterating previous ETUC Resolutions on European standardisation[1] and observing that:

  • the Regulation 1025/2012 on European Standardisation has reinforced the role granted to European standards in the construction of the single market for goods and services,
  • standardisation is increasingly promoted by government and public authorities as a form of regulation in international and regional trade agreements,
  • standards relate to private as well as to public interests,
  • all standards inevitably affect workers by defining the design and features of the means of production, the organisation of the production processes, hence workers’ health and safety,
  • standards are industrial strategic tools modifying the competitive position of companies on the market, potentially displacing jobs from one company, sector, region or continent to another one and so affecting workers and employment,
  • trade unions are underrepresented actors in standardisation committees,


1.    Draws the attention and calls for the support of national and European trade union federations to represent workers’ interests in standardisation at national and European level in order to:

  • prevent standards to encroach upon national labour laws, collective agreements and collective bargaining, and impede any attempt to use standards for a parallel recodification of labour laws,
  • promote a high level of health and safety at work and quality working conditions above the level of existing public regulations,
  • foster the development of high quality standards for products and services sustaining the competitiveness and advanced know-how of European work forces and the creation of new quality jobs.

As workers’ representation in standardisation varies from one country to the other, national and European trade union federations should also present these goals and highlight their importance to the European Commission and national governments.

2.    Calls on the Commission, EU Member States, EFTA countries and private European standardisation organisations to make the standardisation system at European and national level more transparent and democratic by:

  • implementing, via the “Joint initiative on standardisation”, the recommendations on inclusiveness identified by the “Independent review on the European Standardisation System”,
  • ensuring trade unions’ free access to formal standardisation procedures and standards,
  • providing financial support at national level for trade unions effective participation in standardisation.



[1] ETUC Resolutions on European Standardisation adopted on 5-6 June 2013 and on 12 June 2014.