Timetable for publication

The first generation of Eurocodes were developed in the 1980s, under the direction of the Commission of the European Community. The Commission's aim was to establish harmonized technical rules that would eventually replace national standards for the design of construction works across Europe.12

In 1989, the Commission and countries in the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) transferred responsibility for the Structural Eurocodes to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN, see Section 1.3.2).

Between 1991 and 1999, trial versions of the Structural Eurocodes were published as pre-standards (ENVs or 'EuroNorm Vornorm'). The intended lifetime for ENVs is three years, during which time they can be used provisionally but without the status of a fully agreed European standard (EN or 'European Norm'). The experience gained during this period was used to modify the ENVs so they could be approved as ENs. Many of the pre-standard Eurocodes underwent significant revision before publication as fully-fledged Euro-norms.

As Figure 1.3 shows, work on the final (EN) versions of the Structural Eurocodes began in July 1998 and was not completed until November 2006, when the final parts of Eurocode 9 were ratified by the relevant drafting committee (the 'date of ratification'). Each standard was translated into the three official CEN languages - English, French, and German - and then made available to the national standards bodies (see Section 1.3.3). The dates of availability of the various Eurocodes varied from April 2002 for EN 1990 to May 2007 for EN 1999-1-3.

The final step in the implementation of the Structural Eurocodes is the publication of each EN as a national standard in each country affiliated to CEN (see Sections 1.3.2 and 1.3.3). By the end of 2007, more than three quarters of the Eurocodes parts had appeared in some (but not all) countries and the final quarter are expected in the first half of 2008.

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