In accordance with the so-called “New Approach” often only general protection goals are laid down in EU directives. The complementary technical specifications are drawn up by the European standards bodies such as CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation), CENELEC (Comité Européen de Normalisation Electrotechnique) and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) in the form of harmonised European standards based on mandates by the Commission. As a result of this approach frequently decisions on matters relevant to the consumers are taken within the framework of European standardisation.
Increasingly the preparation of standards is shifted to the international level. European specifications are often based on standards produced by ISO (International Organization for Standardization), IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) or ITU (International Telecommunication Union).