EU states demand standards delay

Link: Global standards special report

At the beginning of September the Quoted Companies Alliance (QCA) sent a letter to commissioner Frits Bolkestein asking for a delay due to the programme running behind schedule.

But on learning of the letter, another six organisations from across the EU joined forces to sign and send a further letter to the European commissioner for internal markets.

John Pierce, chief executive of the QCA, said the rules had ‘come from bureaucratic civil servants making rules with no thoughts on how realistic the timings are’. But Jonathan Todd, official spokesman for Bolkestein, poured cold water on proposals to extend the deadline saying that ‘it’s far too late’ to make changes.

‘This was unanimously agreed upon by member states in the middle of 2002,’ said Todd. ‘Companies have seen this coming for a long time. It’s far too late to expect deadlines to be put back.’

The news comes as a blow to the QCA’s Pierce who vowed to fight on saying the EC was being ‘very unwise’ in not giving companies time for proper consultation. ‘It’s inviting trouble trying to shoehorn standards in an unrealistic time frame,’ he said.

Pierce said he was looking to get all 15 member states involved.

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