Position paper on measurement and testing needs in Candidate Countries

March 13, 2002

Brussels, 12 March 2002

Full text

Introduction

In the accession period, candidate countries must assume membership obligations that satisfy the union’s economic and political conditions. Not only is incorporation of the DFTXLV into national legislation required, but also its effective implementation and application through appropriate administrative and technical infrastructures. Candidate New Member States face major political, sociological, administrative and infrastructural changes during the transition from a planned economy to a market economy when entering the EU and the internal EU market. Measurement and testing (M&T) needs should be treated within the concept of these new socio-economic relations.

Among the 29 negotiating chapters, there are several, such as the free movement of goods, energy, environment, etc. where M&T related activities and corresponding infrastructures are directly involved. There are other chapters, such as consumer and health protection, transport, agriculture, justice and home affairs etc, where, even indirectly, M&T plays a vital role. If not properly tackled, they could cause serious problems and impediments to international trade and the exchange of goods and services.

It is therefore very important to investigate and analyse M&T needs and problems in candidate countries in order to implement the DFTXLV in its various aspects. Of equal importance, M&T in candidate countries should contribute to a higher quality of products and services, which goes beyond merely supporting the free movement of goods and services from the perspective of safety requirements only. The following paper analyses the general M&T situation in candidate countries and suggests a number of solutions in order to effectively deal with the above stated issues.

Particular attention is paid to the scientific and technical expertise required for mutual and multilateral recognition agreements regarding M&T activities related to the implementation of technical directives and international competitiveness.

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