The Dresden agreement is undergoing revision

2016-05-17Print

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The Dresden agreement, ratified in September 1996 between CENELEC and the CEI, is undergoing revision. It governs the planning of new draft electrotechnical standards, and parallel votes during the standardization procedure.

The aim is to prevent the duplication of work, speed up the production of standards and ensure the best possible use of available resources. When the results are positive in both the IEC and CENELEC, the IEC publishes the international standard, while the European standard is ratified by the CENELEC Technical Board. Note that about 70% of European standards are identical to international standards.

The current plan for a revision of the agreement will make no radical changes. Note the following changes, among others:

  • Elimination of the criterion according to which at least five members of the CENELEC must give their approval for a new European project to be launched;
  • Clarifications provided regarding the conditions under which standards may be removed from the parallel production procedure by CENELEC and the IEC.

It also provides for two new measures:

  • The obligation to set a timeline for any new project; if a deviation from this timeline appears for a project entrusted by CENELEC to the IEC, CENELEC may continue said project independently at the European level.
  • Even in the event of a positive vote, the members may still appeal to CENELEC against the publication of a standard.

The adoption of the revised version of the Dresden agreement is scheduled for the end of 2016.



loupe1The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), founded in 1973, is a Belgian non-profit organization formed by the national electrotechnical committees of 33 European or associated countries. In 1985, a resolution of the European Council conferred on CENELEC the role of standardization body responsible for the harmonization of electrotechnical standards under the European legislative system.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), founded in 1906, is the international organization for standardization in the fields of electricity, electronics, electromagnetic compatibility, nanotechnology and related techniques. It is complementary to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which is in charge of the other fields.


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