What is NORMAPME
NORMAPME - Making standards better for SMEs
Who are we?
NORMAPME is an international non-profit association created in 1996 with the support of the European Commission, under the full name of the "European Office of Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium sized Enterprises for Standardisation".
NORMAPME is exclusively devoted to the interests of Small and Medium sized Enterprises in the European standardisation system.
Its members represent over 12 million enterprises in all European countries, including all European Union and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states.
The European Commission has supported NORMAPME during the first years of operation. Presently, NORMAPME carries out a contract of the European Commission offering standardisation services to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.
We are strongly committed to the mission of defending Small and Medium sized Enterprises in the standardisation process, as they represent the strength and the uniqueness of the European economy and society.
We are devoted to satisfying the needs of our member associations and to help Small and Medium Sized Enterprises to understand and adopt standards.
We support our members to act in defense of Small and Medium sized Enterprises before legislators and governments and we encourage Small and Medium Sized Enterprises to raise their voice in the standardisation process.
We contribute to maintain and improve the European economy by supporting companies that create employment and redistribute wealth.
We work democratically. Every decision is only taken after consulting our members and receiving the approval of the majority of them.
We share and transmit our trust in the EU institutions and in the Standardisation Organisations to our member associations and to European companies.
Our mission is to defend the interests of all European Small and Medium sized Enterprises in the standardisation process. This mission is of crucial interest for our economic system and society as SMEs represent 99% of European companies and employ nearly 90 million people, accounting for approx. 2/3 of Europe's total employment.
Standards are nowadays essential for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises as well as for any company operating in the internal market. The application of standards ensures them crucial advantages such as:
- enlarging the potential market for products;
- facilitating product acceptance;
- lowering transaction costs;
- achieving economies of scale;
- reducing external effects (like environmental impact);
- guaranteeing interoperability;
- improving management systems;
- ... and much more.
Our first and most important activity is the direct participation in the standardisation process: experts recommended by our member SME organisations participate in the work of Technical Committees of the European Standardisation Organisations (ESOs) and of the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO).
We monitor with scrutiny the development of new directives, directives under review and standardisation works.
Essential parts of this information are published in simple language using means like newsletters, specific circulars, website and seminars. All our publications are translated in six languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Polish, in order for them to be accessible by the largest number of Europeans.
Our members, all Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and their organisations have the opportunity to bring proposals for the improvement of standards and directives. These opinions are debated in the expert groups that we orchestrate before drafting representative positions on the behalf of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. Once these positions are finalised, we promote them in the standards organisations, in the European Institutions as well as in the medias through articles and press communications.
Organisation and financing
NORMAPME is jointly financed by membership fees and by a subvention from the European Commission.