STAIR4SECURITY - Making progress on European standardization mechanisms

A wide range of security threats including man-made and natural risks can result in disruptive events having serious consequences for societal and citizen security. Both public and private stakeholders require adequate solutions in organizations, procedures and technological capabilities in order to be able to respond in a timely and effective manner.

Thus, there is a need to develop specific standards that enable various public and private organizations across Europe to be effectively coordinated, ensuring smooth cooperation before, during and after a significant disruptive event. Against this background, the main objective of the STAIR4SECURITY project is to create a collaborative platform as a single-entry point for information on the security sector stemming primarily from research activities in order to allow for better governance of standardization in the Disaster Resilience and Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) sectors.

The platform will be policy-maker and operational practitioner-driven, aimed at facilitating a better overview of both current and new projects at the European level. It is also aimed at ensuring better coordination between all stakeholders in the crisis management value chain and helps to provide a more efficiently and timely response to the critical needs following an agreed strategic vision and identified priorities. Led by European Standardization organisation, CEN, the STAIR4SECURITY consortium comprises of 11 partners. 

One of the important tasks that the project is undertaking is a review of the efficiency and effectiveness of standardization tools and mechanisms, which encapsulates the CEN-CENELEC Workshop Agreement (CWA) process and the possibility of introducing a fast-track procedure for adoption of CWAs as European standards (EN).

This work is jointly led by the national standards organizations, AFNOR and DIN, with contribution from ASI, SIS and TFC. According to the co-leaders, Camille Cloitre (AFNOR) and Stefanie Müller (DIN): “The undertaking will build on from inputs not only from National Standardization Organizations and Technical Committees but also from stakeholders all around Europe in order to propose a mechanism tailored to their needs.” Recently, the project undertook and completed a pan-European Operational Practitioner’s survey.

The findings showed high rates of a lack of awareness of the CWA process in the European security sector, but in tandem, it also showed a great deal of interest for the possibilities offered by this type of document in terms of coordination of all the relevant stakeholder actors across Europe. Significantly, in a common session of the CEN and CENELEC Technical Boards, a proposal was tabled to revise the CEN-CENELEC Guide 23 “Consortium Bridge” and Guide 29 “CEN-CENELEC Workshop Agreements”.

In these revisions, it was noted that a main input will be the results of STAIR4SECURITY, especially the outcomes of the surveys related to the process of CWA and recommendations for “Fast Track Procedure”, the smooth transformation of Workshop Agreements, if required, into European Standards.

This is a not only a great recognition of the STAIR4SECURITY project but it should make the relevant deliverables of the Horizon 2020 project more sustainable far beyond the end of the project and that is important for our work.

Tags: CBRNe, Doctrine

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