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.
TACIS Harmonization of Electricity Standards
This project (1.5 MEUR), which started in September 2009 and ends in March 2011 (18 months), was managed by a Consortium formed between CEN (leader), CENELEC, AENOR, AFNOR and BSI. The project involves eleven TACIS countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). The overall objective of the project is to contribute to improving the prospects for energy market integration within Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, and with the EU. In this framework, the project is expected to support the countries' uptake of international standards, rules and practices. The project particularly focused on equipment standards in the electricity sector. Including various activities like country reports, workshops, seminars, ... but also a medium-term strategy paper and handbook on the harmonization process, this project is a huge success in many regards.
A final conference was held on 8 February 2011 in Kiev, Ukraine, bringing together all the project stakeholders. Its success confirmed the high interest of the 11 beneficiaries in increasing their relationship with CEN and CENELEC and obtaining assistance from EU-funded projects managed by CEN, CENELEC and their Members.