The ANEC Strategy sets the framework for all ANEC activities. In June 2013, the General Assembly adopted the Strategy for 2014 to 2020. It is intended to achieve the ANEC Vision 2020:

  • A sustainable Europe where the health, safety and well-being of consumers is paramount, where goods and services are accessible, fit for purpose and in compliance with legislation and standards;
  • A European Standardisation System in which the consumer interest is not only represented in standards work that will affect consumers but is influential, innovative and key in decision-making;
  • A Europe where consumer engagement is achieved at national and European level, with balance between consumer and business interests;
  • A balance between legislation and standardisation that ensures the highest levels of protection and welfare for all European consumers, regardless of age or ability.

The Strategy is supported by 10 strategic objectives, with their implementation to be achieved through annual action plans, adopted by the General Assembly and managed on its behalf by the Steering Committee as board of the association. The annual action plans are themselves supported by annual work programmes that detail the tasks in both the political and technical sectors of ANEC activities.

Several actions have already successfully concluded: Action 5 on the Joint Initiative on Standardisation (JIS), Action 7 on the European Accessibility Act (EAA), Action 11 on Market Surveillance Regulation, Action 13 on PROSAFE joint actions, showing tangible results before the end of the Strategy. As of February 2020, Action 14 on Better Regulation also concluded successfully, with remaining actions being continuous and likely to be transposed to the Strategy 2030.

A formal evaluation of the results of the Strategy was made to the ANEC General Assembly in June 2021, ahead of the adoption of the ANEC Strategy 2030. The new Strategy will be elaborated in the second half of 2021, thus allowing for health crisis developments to be taken into account.

Particular items of focus within the political and horizontal activities of ANEC are:

  • our contribution as an “Annex III Organisation” to the implementation of Regulation (EU) 1025/2012 (including the EC Committee on Standards; EC Annual Union Work Programme for European Standardisation; Joint initiative on Standardisation)
  • enhancing consumer participation in standardisation
  • the training of consumer experts and consumer representatives
  • participation in the governance of the European Standardisation Organisations
  • our contribution to the European Consumer Agenda
  • strengthening the framework for market surveillance and enforcement
  • strengthening the framework for the safety of consumer products
  • communications, events and dissemination of information
  • collaboration with our sister organisations: BEUC, Consumers International, ICRT

News and recent success stories

ANEC General Assembly 2021


ANEC held its 32nd General Assembly meeting on 10 June 2021. The meeting was hosted from Dublin by ANEC President, Dermott Jewell. The agenda saw Mr Jewell (Ireland) re-elected President for a further two-year term; Jens Henriksson (Sweden) re-elected Vice-President, and Rusnė Juozapaitienė (Lithuania) elected Treasurer. The members from Czechia, Italy, North Macedonia, Norway, Spain & UK were also elected to the Steering Committee (board).

In introducing the ANEC Annual Review 2020, Mr Jewell spoke at his pride in leading an association which had continued to make great strides in raising standards for consumers despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Other items on the agenda including the formal evaluation of the ANEC Strategy 2014 to 2020, ahead of finalisation of the ANEC Strategy 2030, and a keynote from Director-General of DG GROW, Kerstin Jorna, looking ahead to the publication of the Standardisation Strategy later in 2021.

ANEC response to EC consultation on the Roadmap for the Standardisation Strategy

ANEC welcomes the wish of the European Commission (EC) to develop a Standardisation Strategy. Hence, on 9 August 2021, ANEC submitted a response to the EC consultation on the Roadmap for the Standardisation Strategy.

A few of the key messages we highlighted in our response:

 Consumer spending constituted 54% of EU GDP before the pandemic and hence the needs of consumers must be central to EU policies, with the ESS effective in responding to these needs.

 ANEC supports creation of a high-level group to build and maintain a new dialogue between the EC and stakeholders of European standardisation. This should look to avoid fundamental difficulties (such as citation of Harmonised Standards) in the implementation of legislation or policy.

 ANEC trusts the High-Level Task Force created by the EC and the ESOs will come forward quickly with effective and lasting solutions that allow the timely citation of Harmonised Standards. It is vital for all stakeholders in the ESS that industry maintains its confidence in European standardisation and does not look to other solutions.

 ANEC agrees with the EC interpretations of the Amstar and James Elliott rulings. We trust a further consequence will be that the EC ensures a similar implementation of other provisions of the Regulation, such as those of Article 5 on deepening inclusiveness.

 ANEC does not believe a revision of Regulation (EU) 1025/2012 is needed. Instead its implementation should be improved, especially in the obligations on Member States to provide the political and financial frameworks needed at national level to ensure the participation of all stakeholders in European standardisation.

The full ANEC response can be found at

Regulation on machinery products

On 21 April 2021, the EC published its proposal for a Regulation on machinery products ( ANEC believes the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) has generally worked well in providing a sufficient level of safety for consumers in the EU, as well as aiding the free movement of machinery products. Nevertheless, the Directive needs updating to improve safety levels further, taking account of the latest IT innovations. As the Machinery Directive covers many consumer products, such as gardening equipment, it is vital for the proposed Regulation to ensure the same level of protection for consumers as for workers.

In a position paper published in July (, we welcome that several of our suggestions from last year have been taken into account in the proposal. We also give recommendations on provisions that need to be modified in the proposal in order to ensure the highest practicable level of safety for consumers.

We ask for fairground and amusement park equipment to be included in the Regulation, and for means of transport (such as e-bikes and e-scooters) to be included in this or dedicated legislation. The concept of foreseeable use should be used in determining whether a machine poses a high risk, and not only the intended use, especially for AI systems. In line with our first comments on the GPSR proposal, we believe a pan-EU accidents & injuries database, or a revitalisation of the European Injury Database (EU-IDB), is needed to assess whether a machine poses a high-risk to consumers. We believe escalators should be considered high-risks machines. The provision of instructions for use in electronic form (instead of hard copy) should be subject to a specific risk assessment by the manufacturer.

We shall soon submit our position to the EC public consultation:

Comments on Annual Union Work Programme for European Standardisation 2022

In June 2021, we commented on the draft Annual Union Work Programme for European Standardisation 2022: The scope of our comments includes inclusiveness and international cooperation, as well as specific projects and ecosystems for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic such as digital and sustainability. We also suggested new topics such as services standardisation and Harmonised Standards for common chargers falling under the scope of a possible Delegated Act under the RED (or other legislation). 

ANEC/BEUC comment on revision of GPSD

Ahead of the expected revision of the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC), in August 2020, together with BEUC we have published a position paper on how the revision should contribute to higher levels of consumer protection in the EU. The paper can be found at

The GPSD has proved a fundamental piece of consumer protection legislation. It established the obligation on producers to place only safe products on the market, beyond the product-specific legislation of the New Approach. In practice, this means the GPSD is the main safety law for commodities as diverse as furniture, textiles and child-care products. But by 2020, it has become outdated, having been adopted in 2001.

ANEC contributes further to review of Machinery Directive

During August 2019, ANEC contributed to a public consultation on the possible revision of the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC), the second phase of the review process announced by the European Commission (EC) at the beginning of 2019.

During the consultation, we stressed the need to update the Directive to improve safety levels further and take account of the latest IT innovations, addressing aspects related to emerging digital technologies (e.g. AI, cybersecurity, IoT). Moreover, we proposed to add accessibility requirements in the Directive, and to make reference to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (mirroring the Lifts Directive, for example). Furthermore, we reiterated our long-held concerns about the continued absence of a European legal framework for fairground & amusement park equipment.

Over the years, the concept and design of amusement park equipment has evolved, leading to bigger, and more exciting (but more hazardous) attractions. Unfortunately, there remain instances of very serious accidents. Noting the growing popularity of e-scooters, we believe the Machinery Directive could be used to address some of the risks arising from use of these vehicles. For example, the possibility to introduce an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS), similar to that for hybrid or electric cars.

Our final points touched on sustainable consumption. We asked for the revision to consider the renting of machines (e.g. DIY tools) by consumers. For fuller information, see

Ahead of revision of the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC), we have issued a position focusing on the need to take into account technological developments in security and AI. In November 2020, despite several of our suggestions had been taken into account by the EC, we stressed again the exclusion of Fairgrounds (which we do not support) and the importance to offer both on-line and paper formats of all instructions for use (covering both safety but also maintenance for example). The outcome of the impact assessment study showed that the majority of interviewed stakeholders (including ANEC) agreed that the exclusion of fairground and amusement park equipment in the scope of the Directive should be removed.

ANEC Vice-President appointed to represent ANEC in the CAG (ISO/COPOLCO)

We are delighted that Jens Henriksson, ANEC Vice-President and a long-standing member of COPOLCO, has been appointed to represent ANEC in the CAG during its 2020/2021 term.

In order to enable the ISO Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO) to contribute as effectively as possible to the implementation of the ISO Strategy 2030, its Chair, Guillermo Zucal (Argentina), has put in place a restructuring of the COPOLCO Chair’s Advisory Group (CAG). The aim is to transform the CAG into a smaller, strategic committee which develops proposals for the annual COPOLCO plenaries. Membership of the CAG is now personal and not transferrable.

Apart from the participation of a limited number of representatives from the national standards bodies among the ISO membership, a select few seats have been made available to other organisations to ensure broad discussion and such is the appointment of the Vice-President of ANEC. In welcoming Jens’s appointment, ANEC Secretary-General, Stephen Russell, said “it is essential the consumer movement helps to guide ISO in its ambitions to address the environmental, technological and societal challenges now facing the world. The new CAG is a platform to do that and I welcome the appointment of ANEC (and Consumers International) to its membership”.

Portrait Jens

ANEC comments on standardisation rules

In September 2019, ANEC responded to a stakeholder consultation by the European Commission on draft guidance on practical aspects of the implementation of Regulation (EU) 1025/2012, known informally as the “Standardisation Regulation”.

Our comments focused on Standardisation Requests (SReqs) and the procedure for resolving Formal Objections. We believe there is need for a clear and precise definition of the temporal validity of SReqs. Regarding Formal Objections, we commented that the process takes too long and can lead to misunderstandings among stakeholders (including the Member States and ESOs). Hence we proposed deadlines for the procedure (and revision of related standards). 

Strengthening the framework for market surveillance

On 14 June 2019, the Economic & Financial Affairs Council approved Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 on the market surveillance and compliance of products, confirming the agreement of the European Parliament (EP). The new rules will apply two years from the date of entry into force. A number of provisions will however apply as of 1 January 2021.

ANEC believes that the legislation will strengthen market surveillance and contribute to consumer safety. We appreciate the provisions of the Regulation to enhance traceability in the supply chain and to improve the organisation and financing of market surveillance authorities. We also welcome the intensified checks on the safety of products sold online, and the facilitated reporting on accident & injury data at European level.