A Technical Assistance (TA) programme is a contract between CEN or CENELEC and (usually) the European Commission (EC) to provide some services in third countries.
These services could range from seminars, to specialized trainings, to awareness raising, ad-hoc studies, know-how transfers, consultancies, running of an office in one of the beneficiary countries, etc.
The technical focus of the projects may also vary, from standardization only to the most common Quality Infrastructure (i.e. accreditation, metrology, standardization, conformity assessment, market surveillance, technical regulations) to specialized areas of economic development always linked to the free circulation of goods and aimed at increasing exchanges between the EU and the beneficiary country/region.
We laid down the principles for participation in technical assistance projects in CEN/CENELEC Guide 27 on CEN and CENELEC involvement in Technical Assistance (TA) projects.
TACIS Harmonization of Electricity Standards
The TACIS (Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States) Harmonisation of Electricity Standards project was successfully implemented for a period of 18 months, between September 2009 and March 2011. The project was managed by a Consortium formed between CEN (leader), CENELEC, AENOR, AFNOR and BSI and involved eleven TACIS countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
The overall objective of the project was to contribute to improving the prospects for energy market integration within Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA), and with the EU. In this framework, the project supported the countries' uptake of international standards, rules and practices, having a strong focus on equipment standards in the electricity sector, and therefore contributed to increasing infrastructure efficiency; enhancing quality and reliability of equipment; ensuring safety in transmission and distribution; and facilitating trade and investments in modern technologies. The purpose was to achieve measurable progress in the harmonization of the EECCA electricity sector for equipment standards with international standards. In order to achieve these objectives, technical assistance was provided to assist the relevant line ministries/agencies and national companies responsible for setting and monitoring the implementation standards.
The main activities included country reports, workshops, seminars, but also a medium-term strategy document and a handbook on the harmonization process.
At the end of the project, a final conference was held on 8 February 2011 in Kiev, Ukraine, bringing together all the project stakeholders, confirming the high interest of the 11 beneficiaries in increasing their relationships with CEN and CENELEC and obtaining assistance from EU-funded projects managed by CEN, CENELEC and their Members.
Contact point: Eric Marchand, Project Manager - International Cooperation Unit