Standards are created by experts in the different member states who are connected to the CEN. The indicate the procedures that must be followed during the certification process so that when the standards have been met the products concerned are in compliance with the European Directives. The EN standards are recognized in all the different member states of Europe. Most standards are prepared at the request of industry. The European Commission can also request the relevant standards bodies to prepare standards in order to implement European legislation.
Standards are voluntary, consensus-based and as such do not impose any regulations. Contrary to the Directives, which are legal obligations. The European Commission establishes essential safety and health requirements (legal ) in a Directive. European standards (EN) provide the test specifications and test methods (interoperability, safety, quality, etc.).
European Harmonized Standards (official abbreviation: hEN) are used to provide presumption of conformity to Essential Requirements of the Directives.