European Committee for Standardization CEN

The European Committee for Standardization (known as CEN, after its French name Committé Européen de Normalisation) was founded in 1961 by the national standards bodies in the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).16

Based in Brussels, CEN currently comprises thirty national members, seven associates (for example, the European Construction Industry Federation, FIEC), and two counsellors (representing the EEC and EFTA); four affiliates (mainly central and eastern European countries); and nine partners (countries outside Europe such as Australia, Egypt, and Russia), which have committed to implementing certain European standards as their own national standards. Figure 1.6 and Plate 1 (in the colour section) illustrate the current membership of CEN.

CEN has over 250 technical committees (TCs), numbered from TC 10 (covering lifts, escalators, and moving walks) to TC 353 (covering information and communication technologies for learning, education, and training). The technical committees that are active in the building and civil engineering sector include: TC 124 Timber structures TC 127 Fire safety in buildings

TC 135 Execution of steel structures and aluminium structures

TC 151 Construction equipment and building material machinery

TC 189 Geosynthetics

TC 250 Structural Eurocodes

TC 288 Execution of special geotechnical works

TC 341 Geotechnical investigation and testing

The committees of interest to us in this book are TCs 250, 288, and 341.

By the end of 2007, CEN had published nearly 13,000 European Standards. Approximately 16% of CEN's standards are in the building and civil engineering sector, with a further 14% covering materials. The only sectors which are larger are mechanical engineering and transport-and-packaging.

Figure 1.6. Countries whose national standards bodies are members of the European Committee for Standardization. See Plate 1 for colour version.

CEN does not itself sell European Standards, but instead makes them available through its national members (such as the British Standards Institution, BSI).

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