Insights of the European Commission - The Joint Initiative on Standardization


Standardisation is cooperation. Standardisation is working together. Standardisation is consensus. Standardisation means preparing for the future, and the future is here. Digitization, servicification, blurring between products, services and ICT mean that we need to be ready for new challenges.

In Europe we are taking the public-private-partnership that is standardisation to a new high by creating the Joint Initiative on Standardisation: 15 innovative and joint actions to further improve the European system, by focusing on 3 main themes: speed up, prioritise and modernise.

During the IEC GM in Frankfurt the EC will “host” an event to present and promote the launch of the 15 Actions of the Joint Initiative while encouraging engagement with members, stakeholders and other appropriate audiences.

CEN and CENELEC together with DKE are supporting the EC in the organization

The main topics chosen by the EC to be address during the event (supported also by a few videos) are:

  1. Speed - What is key to timely standardization? (promoting faster standards development)
  2. Modernize - What contributes to modernizing the ESS? (modernizing the way standards are produced in Europe)
  3. Prioritize - How to better prioritize the ESS? (closing the gap between research priorities and European standardisation, clearer prioritization)

Special focus will be given to three Juncker priorities: Digital transformation, Energy and Trade, and on Action 13 – ‘Promote the European regulatory model supported by voluntary standards’ and its link to international standardisation in third countries, and Action 15 – ‘Improve the representation of European SMEs and societal stakeholders' interests in international standardisation processes’.


Jean-François Aguinaga

Head of Unit for European standards, DG GROW
European Commission

Jean-François Aguinaga is Head of Unit at the European Commission.
He was trained in leading business schools (INSEAD; Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris), his PhD in roman languages and civilisations was received from the University of Paris, as well as his grade in public administration.
He joined the European Commission in September 1994, within a team in charge of economic co-operation with Latin America.
In 2002, he joined the Directorate General Enterprise and Industry (now DG GROW) where he was the sherpa drafting the financial instruments for SMEs (2007-2013).
Between 2006 and 2010, he was first responsible for the EIC network, then for the phasing-in of the Enterprise Europe Network, the biggest network of business and innovation services ever set-up with the support of the European Commission.
Between 2011 and 2015, he managed the Unit dealing with “textiles, fashion, design and creative industries”.
Since June 2015, he has been leading European standardisation for growth.

Hein Bollens

Deputy Head of Unit for European Standardisation
European Commission

After having worked in the private medical sector and the petroleum industry, Hein Bollens joined the European Commission in 1994. Hein has occupied various functions in different services, in Luxembourg as well as in Brussels: Eurostat, HR, Transport and Energy. He currently holds the position of Deputy Head of Unit for European Standardisation in the Directorate General in charge of “Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs” (DGGROW). His motto is that “the best standard is the one you do not see”.

Christel Davidson

Small Business Standards (SBS)

Since February 2016, Christel Davidson is the Director of Small Business Standards, the European association representing and supporting SMEs in standardisation.
Christel has over 15 years’ experience in EU public affairs and sustainability issues. She previously worked for various trade associations, such as EuroCommerce (2006-2015) and UEAPME (2002-2005) and the environmental NGO, BirdLife (1998-2002).
Christel Davidson holds a DES in environmental sciences (ULB) and a university degree in Business Administration (ICHEC).

Margot Dor

Strategy development

ETSI develops communication technologies standards for the digital economy (e.g. mobile communications, secure service provision, Internet of Things, smart cities…).  ETSI is domiciled in Sophia Antipolis, France.
Margot worked in the IT industry and the banking sector, prior to joining ETSI to launch a market intelligence unit. She is now in charge of Strategy Development.
Margot is originally from Marseille and was trained in Political Science and International Public Law.

Kerstin Jorna

Director at "Industrial Property, Innovation & Standards" directorate of DG GROWTH
European Commission

Kerstin Jorna is a German national. She joined the European Commission in 1990.
After a stint as Commission's spokeswoman for regional policy and institutional affairs, Kerstin joined successively the cabinets of Michel Barnier, Günther Verheugen, Jacques Barrot and again Michel Barnier with responsibilities in the areas of regional policy, transport, justice and home affairs, single market and financial services.
After holding Director position for Intellectual Property and Innovation Policy in the European Commission, Kerstin is currently responsible of Single Market, Regulation and Implementation Directorate in DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
She is also co-chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council Community.
Kerstin studied law in Bonn, Hamburg and Bruges. She is married and has four children.

Arnold Pindar

ANEC – the European Consumer Voice in Standardisation

Arnold Pindar is President of ANEC – the European Consumer Voice in Standardisation and Chairman of the UK National Consumer Federation. He trained as an analytical chemist and worked for many years at the UK’s Department of Trade & Industry, much of this time dealing with consumer safety.  He has represented the UK at European Council and Commission Working Parties developing safety related harmonization Directives, and has been a member of many British and European (CEN) Standards Technical Committees.  He joined the British Standards Institution in 1996 as Head of Consumer & Societal Policy (retired 2006).
He has a leading role in consumer activities, related to standardisation, in Europe and throughout the world with a special interest in promoting consumer participation in standardisation. For a period he co-chaired ISO/COPOLCO’s (International Organisation for Standardisation’s, Committee on Consumer Policy) Consumer Participation Working Group and has undertaken training activities for ISO across the world bringing together National Standards Bodies with consumer organisations in their countries.

Gudrún Rögnvaldardóttir

Vice-President Technical CEN – European Committee for Standardization

Mrs. Rögnvaldardóttir studied electrical engineering in Iceland and Germany. She graduated from the Technical University of Karlsruhe in 1986. After a few years as Associate Professor at the University of Iceland, she started working in standardization in 1991. She has been with Icelandic Standards since then, with the exception of one year (1995-1996) when she worked at the CEN Central Secretariat in Brussels. Since 1998, Gudrún has been the Managing Director of Icelandic Standards. She was a member of the CEN Technical Board (1991-2001), the CENELEC Technical Board (1996-1999), the CEN Administrative Board (since 1998), the ISO Council (2005-2006 and 2011-2012), and Vice-President and Administrative Board member of CENELEC (2007-2010). She studied Public Administration at the University of Iceland and graduated with a Masters degree (MPA) in 2006.

Dr. Bernhard Thies

President of CENELEC – European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization

Dr. Bernhard Thies is Chairman of the Board of Directors of DKE – the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE, German National Committee of IEC and CENELEC. Moreover he is Vice-Chairman of the EEBus Initiative, a network of leading companies, associations and stakeholders in the German and international energy, telecommunications and electrical industry in order to open up the new market of smart connectivity. Dr Thies is Vice-President of the Asian Management Association (China), the international institute engaged in providing professional training and consulting services for the organizations and the individuals in China. Since many years he also gives lectures at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen). Dr Thies studied at the RWTH Aachen where he also obtained his doctorate. His last position in industry (1999) was President of the ABB Traffo BB Gmbh, specialized in power, distribution and transformers. His standardization career in VDE started in 1999. Dr Thies was elected CENELEC President Elect in June 2014 and runs since January 2016 the CENELEC Presidency.

Justin Wilkes

Deputy Director
ECOS (European Environmental Citizen's Organisation for Standardisation)

Justin Wilkes is Deputy Director of ECOS (European Environmental Citizen's Organisation for Standardisation) where he is responsible for ecodesign and environmental standardisation activities. Previously Justin held numerous positions at the European Wind Energy Association, WWF, and the European Parliament. Justin has an extensive background in EU energy, environment, and climate policy having closely engaged on energy policy (renewables, internal energy market, electricity market design, infrastructure), climate change (ETS, international negotiations), finance and innovation policy (Stimulus Plan, NER300, SET-Plan, European Economic Recovery Plan), State aid (Environment and Energy Guidelines), trade policy (WTO, TTIP), chemicals (REACH), and environment policy (forest protection, species preservation). He has a Masters degree in International Studies (Diplomacy), and is a joint Irish/UK national.

Location: Kap Europa

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