Re: [irsg] IETF and European Commission

Niels ten Oever <> Tue, 16 May 2023 16:28 UTC

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Date: Tue, 16 May 2023 18:28:41 +0200
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Subject: Re: [irsg] IETF and European Commission
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To: Jane Coffin <>, Mallory Knodel <>, Working Chairs <>, Internet Research Steering Group <>
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From: Niels ten Oever <>
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Hi Jane,

As far as I know, in its legislation the European Union (EU) can only refer to 'harmonised standards'. A harmonised standard is a European standard developed by a recognised European Standards Organisation: CEN, CENELEC, or ETSI. This is why, for instance, CEN adopts ISO standards in Europe, through the prefix “EN ISO” (see also Vienna Agreement). So it are just CEN, CENELEC and ETSI standards that are commonly referred to in European legislation and policies.

Through CEN, CENELEC, and ETSI international standards also often get translated to national standards bodies (NSBs)(but sometimes they also get translated directly from ISO/IEC to NSBs). Then countries can refer to it in national legislation as well in my understanding.

But I can ask my law colleagues to verify.



On 16-05-2023 17:39, Jane Coffin wrote:
> All -
> Some countries - like Armenia (or at least in 2006) -- indicated in the Telecoms Law that ITU standards were part of their national standards fabric.  Whether they actually put this into practice is a separate issue (they definitely did on spectrum - Radio Regs - Treaty).
> I think the UK (when part of the EC) had to amend some of its laws (or codes, procedures, you get the point) to include standards other than ISO, ITU, and specifically include IETF protocols/standards.
> Does the EC officially accept IETF standards in their roster of standards?
> Did some EC countries have to specifically change laws/codes/other/other to include IETF standards outside of any EC processes?
> I ask this Q as it might be helpful to know at least whether the EC officially accepts IETF standards, and this flows down to all EC members?  I use the word "accept" as a placeholder for "include by reference in leg, incorporate by ref, other, other appropriate term".
> Jane
> On Tue, May 16, 2023 at 11:05 AM Mallory Knodel < <>> wrote:
>     Others will have more context, likely, but I've engaged with this content rather extensively and it largely focusses on national/regional standards efforts, not international bodies like the IETF, though it does make mention and understand rather well, in my view, the relationship between different actors.
>     -Mallory
>     On 5/16/23 8:59 AM, Rifaat Shekh-Yusef wrote:
>>     Hi,
>>     Anyone aware of any relationship between the IETF and the European Commission ICT initiative?
>>     European Multi-Stakeholder Platform on ICT Standardisation | Shaping Europe’s digital future ( <>
>>     Regards,
>>      Rifaat
>     -- 
>     Mallory Knodel
>     CTO, Center for Democracy and Technology
>     gpg fingerprint :: E3EB 63E0 65A3 B240 BCD9 B071 0C32 A271 BD3C C780

Niels ten Oever, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator - critical infrastructure lab - University of Amsterdam
Assistant Professor - Department of European Studies - University of Amsterdam

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