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European Standards (ENs) are documents that have been ratified by one of the three European Standardization Organizations (ESOs), CEN, CENELEC or ETSI; recognized as competent in the area of voluntary technical standardization as for the EU Regulation 1025/2012.
Although they deal with different fields of activity, CEN, CENELEC, and ETSI cooperate in a number of areas of common interest, such as the machinery sector or information and communication technologies (ICTs). They also share common policies on issues where there is mutual agreement.
An EN (European Standard) “carries with it the obligation to be implemented at national level by being given the status of a national standard and by withdrawal of any conflicting national standard". Therefore, a European Standard (EN) automatically becomes a national standard in each of the 34 CEN-CENELEC member countries.
Standards are voluntary which means that there is no automatic legal obligation to apply them. However, laws and regulations may refer to standards and even make compliance with them compulsory.