Welcome to the MCCAA Portal dedicated to Maltese SMEs
Small businesses play a central role in the Maltese economy. In Europe they represent 95% of the business and provide 55% of the total jobs in the private sector. For the Maltese economy this is larger. Standards, within the European market, have played an essential role in the building of the internal market, allowing both manufacturers and consumers to benefit from the elimination of technical barriers to trade while fulfilling the essential safety requirements that standardization has always guaranteed. Adequate stakeholder participation is therefore essential to the European standardization process. However, the representation of SMEs in European standardization is often considered insufficient.
Early in 2011, the European Commission published its Communication: ‘Review of the Small Business Act for Europe’. To strengthen SMEs’ competitiveness, the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) provides a comprehensive SME policy framework, promotes entrepreneurship and anchors the ‘Think Small First’ principle in law and policy making.
SME awareness and participation in European standardization To ensure full implementation of the SBA and to respond to the challenges SMEs are facing, the Commission is determined to continue to give priority to SMEs and to take into account their specific characteristics in its proposals and programmes. One of the SBA’s goals is to help SMEs benefit more from the opportunities offered by the Single Market, amongst other by increasing SME awareness and participation in European standardization. This is because European Standards are a powerful means of enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs. In this respect a number of initiatives are taking place:
SME Helpdesk The CEN-CENELEC SME Helpdesk is the one stop service point to introduce SMEs to the benefits of European standardization and to the business tools required to access the European Standardization System of CEN and CENELEC. In order to better address the questions raised to the SME Helpdesk, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page is available. Send a question to the SME Helpdesk.
SMEs dedicated national portal The MCCAA is providing this SME portal to increase the awareness of the benefits of standardization to SMEs.
National SME Toolbox
The following provides useful links and information that can be of benefit to Maltese SMEs to facilitate compliance with product safety legislation and improve the quality of products and services offered:
Information on standardization processes, can be foundhere
Writing standards taking into account SME needs CEN and CENELEC, supported by NORMAPME (the European Office of Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises for Standardisation) published CEN-CENELEC Guide 17. The Guide provides orientation, advice and recommendations to standard writers on how to take into account SME needs. The document addresses the issues needing to be considered during the development process of standards. Versions of the Guide are available on the CEN-CENELEC SME website in an increasing number of languages - to make it easier for standard writers and SMEs to apply the CEN-CENELEC Guide 17, these national language versions of the guide are provided for download on the SME Web Portal (see below).
SME Standardization Toolkit (SMEST) Based on the recommendations and experiences from a first project, the SMEST 2 project, supported by the European Commission, will complement the specific actions being undertaken by CEN and CENELEC members to implement the SME Access Study by providing guidance and practical support. Given the continuing and growing importance of SMEs in European Standardization, CEN and CENELEC, ASI (Austria) , DIN (Germany), NEN (the Netherlands) and NORMAPME are working together in SMEST 2 to strengthen and promote the links between SMEs and standardization in terms of awareness, information and participation.
See the results of the first project SMEST 1 and the SMEST Toolkit for SMEs can be foundhere
New Standardization Initiatives To find out new standardization initiatives that may be of interest and standards that are in the making clickhere
Follow CEN-CENELEC SME activities on Twitter To be updated on the CEN and CENELEC activities regarding SMEs, follow us on Twitter @Standards4SMEs
SME Webportal Your update on CEN and CENELEC activities with regards to SMEs can be found on the SME portal
ABOUT CEN The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is a business catalyst in Europe, removing trade barriers for European stakeholders such as industry, public administration, service providers, consumers and other stakeholders. Its mission is to foster the European economy in global trading, the welfare of European citizens, and the environment. Through its services CEN provides a platform for the development of European Standards and other specifications. CEN’s 31 National Members work together to develop voluntary European Standards (ENs) in various sectors to build a European Internal Market for goods and services and to position Europe in the global economy. By supporting research, and helping disseminate innovation, standards are a powerful tool for economic growth. More than 60.000 technical experts as well as business federations, consumer and other societal interest organizations are involved in the CEN network that reaches over 480 million people. For further information, please visit:www.cen.eu
ABOUT CENELEC The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization is officially responsible for standardization in the electrotechnical field. In an ever more global economy, CENELEC fosters innovation and competitiveness, making technology available not only to major businesses but also to SMEs through the production of voluntary standards. CENELEC creates market access at the European level but also at the international level through its cooperation agreement with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Through the work of its 31 Members together with its experts, the industry federations and consumers, Electrotechnical European Standards are created in order to help shape the European Internal Market, to encourage technological development, to ensure interoperability and to guarantee the safety and health of consumers and provide environmental protection. Detailed information available atwww.cenelec.eu
ABOUT ETSI ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, is a not-for-profit organization, officially recognized by the European Union and EFTA. The mission of ETSI is to develop globally applicable deliverables meeting the needs of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) community whilst supporting EU and EFTA regulations and initiatives. Detailed information available atwww.etsi.org