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The New Legislative Framework: an instrument designed for the European Single Market

The new legislative framework (NLF) for industrial products in the EU aims to improve the internal market for goods by improving market surveillance and boosting the quality of conformity assessments. 

Given the evolving technological landscape, the Evaluation of certain aspects of the New Legislative Framework initiative of the European Commission seeks to evaluate whether the NLF remains fit for purpose in a digital and circular economy. The evaluation will focus on:

With regard to this initiative CEN and CENELEC published a Position paper “The New Legislative Framework: an instrument designed for the European Single Market” emphasizing on the successes of the NLF as a bespoke mechanism for supporting European policies and the European economy. These are supported by examples of what can be achieved together with the European Commission and how to shape the common aims going forward. 

The New Legislative Framework is key for the European Commission and its Member States to be successful in achieving their high ambition for a digital transformation and sustainable future. CEN and CENELEC welcome the European Commission’s public consultation on the NLF, which is both timely and needed, to see how the NLF could be improved to become a more efficient and consistent tool. 

Under the NLF, CEN and CENELEC have worked extensively in cooperation with the EC to produce standards in support of European policy objectives. The continued use and expansion of the NLF to establish clear and essential requirements in legislation, supported by voluntary technical standards, the delivery of technical detail needed by manufacturers and suppliers, will help European businesses meet legal requirements and support the needs of all stakeholders. 

CEN and CENELEC stress on the importance of the NLF for the development of standards and standardization infrastructure within the European Single Market and highlight the opportunities available ahead: 

- Through the NLF, standardization has become a critical resource in building the Single Market. The ‘presumption of conformity’ (meaning that by using a harmonised standard, a manufacturer is deemed to comply with the requirements of regulation) is key asset for industry, in particular SMEs, and has enabled easier routes to market.

- The European Standardization Strategy must build on the New Legislative Framework and strong investment should be made in Harmonized Standards 

- The NLF, through the Harmonised standards, enables an agile legal framework and legal text does not have to be continually adapted. Instead, the content of standards is revised according to the state-of-the-art and innovations.

- The alignment between European and international standardization, through the cooperation of CEN and ISO, and CENELEC and IEC, is crucial for the success of the NLF to facilitate international trade and the digitalization of industrial ecosystems, while ensuring consumers’ safety and the protection of the environment 

- The NLF has the potential to be expanded to other sectors and new technologies to tackle the twin transition

- The NLF should address whole-life updates to and evolution of products and should define clear roles and responsibilities for addressing product conformity after a product has been on the market. 

- The NLF and the use of Harmonized Standards are particularly suited to address the requirements of the Twin green and digital transition. 

The full text of the Position paper can be found on the following link:  

https://www.cencenelec.eu/media/Policy%20Opinions/cen-and-cenelec_nlf_position-paper.pdf