Validation of European observerships in foreign Technical Committees

Validation of European observerships in foreign Technical Committees


This page describes the process to be followed by CENELEC Technical Bodies interested in sending observers in foreign national Technical Committees under the umbrella of cooperation agreements concluded between CENELEC and non-European National Standardization Bodies.


Two CEN and CENELEC Cooperation Agreements (with JISC and Rosstandart) offer the possibility to send observers to the Technical Committees of the foreign Partners (hereafter referred to as foreign TCs ). The objectives of these activities are to develop mutual technical cooperation on standards development activities in the three organizations, as well as to adopt a complementary approach to the standardization process in order to avoid duplication, in areas of mutual interest, where feasible.

Due to the rights and obligations assigned to an observer (see clause 3), and to the fact that observerships are linked to the payment of a yearly fee, it is important to follow a process that validates the European requests according to the following elements:

  • The need for the CLC/TCs requesting observership to be familiar and agree with the rights and obligations of an observer;
  • The necessity for the European expert to represent the CLC/TC where he/she is active in the activities of the foreign TC, and therefore the need for the CLC/TC to approve such request and the expert nomination;
  • The need for the observer to act as rapporteur to both TCs;
  • The fact that CENELEC will pay for those observerships. The financial aspect should be assessed with each request.
  • Due to the implications of observerships both on the work of CENELEC, and on the CENELEC budget, and in order to have a holistic view and management of European observerships in foreign TCs, the Technical Board (CLC/BT) should endorse the CLC/TC decision to observe a foreign TC.


With its Decision D151/C063, CLC/BT endorsed the following process to enable European experts to participate as observers in Technical Committees of foreign Partners:

  • Upon receipt of a request from the CLC/TC, CCMC informs the CLC/TC on the rights and obligations of its observing experts (see clause 3), confirms the identification of the foreign TC, requests the CLC/TC to issue an official TC decision (taken by unanimity) and to provide the list of experts who will represent the CLC/TC (maximum three);
  • Upon receipt of the CLC/TC decision, CCMC prepares the request for endorsement (by correspondence) to CLC/BT, providing the above-mentioned elements and describing the budgetary impact of such decision (balance with payment of foreign observerships or not). Should the payment of European fees increase significantly or create an unbalance in the ‘ins and outs’ related to the observership payments, CACC FIN will be requested to issue a recommendation.
  • Once the decision is taken by CLC/BT, CCMC confirms the decision to the relevant CLC/TC and, if the decision is positive, sends the official request for observership to the foreign partner;
  • Once the request for observership is approved by the partner, CCMC informs the concerned CLC/TC and CLC/BT that the request has been approved and requests the partner to provide access to foreign TC meetings and documents for the nominated observers;
  • CCMC communicates the invoicing details of CENELEC to the partner, and upon receipt of the request for payment of the annual fees, makes the corresponding payment to the partner.
  • The CENELEC experts observing the work of a foreign TC commit to abide by the rules of an observer (see clause 3).


3.1 Rights

Observers have the following main rights:

  • To access all documents, including working documents of the foreign TC;
  • To attend meetings of the foreign TC;
  • To submit comments to working documents of the foreign TC.

The CLC/TC may send a delegation of maximum three experts to meetings of the foreign TC.

3.2 Obligations

Observers have following main obligations:

  • To limit the circulation of the documents coming from the foreign TC to the corresponding  CLC/TC, and not to distribute it outside;
  • To inform the foreign TC of any potential national deviation in CENELEC member countries, during the  standards drafting process in the foreign TC.
  • To notify the secretariat of the foreign TC in which they participate of any European projects falling under the scope of the foreign TC. 



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