European standards for a well functioning digital society
An effective standards system benefits consumers and industry alike, as it is a way to secure independence from larger companies or consortia.
For users, standards increase safety and choice. At an industrial level, standards are crucial to the running of a healthy technology economy: when open and inclusive, they not only enable companies to offer complementary products and services but also help products reach a larger scale of exploitation. This phenomenon is particularly visible in ICT markets where interoperability is a key driver. All this leads to a richer ecosystem encouraging R&D investment.
In a context of varied national interests, a true EU digital single market (DSM) is almost inconceivable without continent-wide technical standards. The main benefit of standards is a lessening of technical and market fragmentation, which helps products reach a larger scale of exploitation and so achieve their full potential. By enabling greater market reach, standards can be seen as a powerful means of increasing employment and improving the competitiveness of European business. In particular, the European Union offers a continent-wide opportunity for common set of rules around such key areas as 5G, Internet of Things, standardisation across industries (automotive, smart homes, etc) and cybersecurity.
The DSM is a unique opportunity for a policy promoting full and open interoperability in standards applicable on the EU territory. Moreover, for the sake of the ecosystem’s vitality, there should be a special awareness around open, consensus based and technology-neutral standards, to guarantee market fluidity and growth of the ecosystem.