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|Date:||Monday, January 12, 2015 11:01:18 AM CET|
|On behalf of (if applicable):|
|Address line 1:||Friedenstr. 42|
|Address line 2:|
The citation of EN 50561-1 as a harmonised standard under
the EMC-Directive 2004/108/EC in the Official Journal of the European
Union (OJEU) of 25 February 2014.
My complaint solely concerns procedural aspects of
standardisation. However, the understanding of a few basic definitions
is required for its evaluation:
In 2001 the European Commission issued mandate M/313  concerning the preparation of EMC (Electro-Magnetic Compatibility) standards for telecommunication networks. By definition a telecommunication network is a collection of nodes which are connected by links so as to enable telecommunication between the terminal nodes. A terminal node is a device which ends a telecommunication link and it is the point where a signal enters and/or leaves the network. Typically each terminal node is a modem (modulator/demodulator), a device that modulates signals to encode digital information and demodulates signals to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily over the network and decoded to reproduce the original digital data. A link is a communication channel that connects the nodes, it may be an actual physical link or it may be a logical link that uses one or more physical links. In wire-line networks the most popular physical links consist of coaxial (screened) cables, telephone wires or power lines. The technology which utilizes existing power lines is called PLC (Power Line Communication) and the "Powerline communication apparatus used in low-voltage installations" which are described in the title of the standard EN 50561-1 are nothing else than PLC-modems.
Products are articles manufactured for sale on the market and standards covering products are called product standards. The components of a telecommunication network are products in the form of electronic equipment/appliances/apparatus (e.g. modems) and other items (wires/cables), but the network as a whole entity is not a product because it is a custom-made installation with an individual topology which is not readily available on the market and standards concerning such networks are called network standards. Modems, for example, are products used in and therefore parts of networks, whereas equipment which utilizes the networks for telecommunication are products to be connected to and therefore not parts of networks.
Besides of these definitions it is important to understand the purpose of mandate M/313 which is explained as follows:
"Since the entry into force of the EMC Directive, a number of harmonised standards have been produced covering the electromagnetic compatibility of electrical and electronic appliances. No harmonised standards, however, have been developed covering the electromagnetic compatibility of fixed installations, such as, for instance, telecommunication networks. While this situation so far may have been satisfactory, such installations increasingly cause interference to radio services, and are in some case experiencing interference (...)"
The technological background behind that explanation is unimportant for the evaluation of my complaint, but it may deepen the understanding of the topic. It is the fact that standards concerning the EMC of installations - for example networks - are much more important for the protection of radio services and of the installation itself than standards concerning merely the EMC of products used in these networks, because EMC problems are often caused by the interaction of the network components though the components themselves - for example PLC-modems - may meet prescribed EMC requirements when tested without being integrated in a real network. And as a consequent result of this insight mandate M/313 defines its scope as follows:
"Therefore, the European Commission requests CEN, CENELEC and ETSI:
- to prepare and adopt harmonised standards covering
the electromagnetic compatibility requirements
(emission and immunity) for telecommunication
- power lines
- coaxial cables
- telephone wires (e.g. using xDSL technology)"
It follows that mandate M/313 unmistakably concerns the preparation of EMC standards for telecommunication networks as whole entities and not for products as parts of these networks. An aeroplane is not just an engine, which is only part of the aeroplane. And if a safety standard expressly for aeroplanes is mandated in order to avoid hazards, it is obvious that the preparation of a standard just for engines is not subject of the mandate. By the same token a telecommunication network is not just a modem, which is only part of the network. And because an EMC standard expressly for telecommunication networks is mandated by M/313 in order to avoid interference to radio services, it is obvious that the preparation of a standard just for products as parts of these networks is not subject of mandate M/313.
Home networks can be combined with external access networks which connect subscribers to their service providers. The result is a combined network with the access network being its external part and the home network being its in-house part. Mandate M/313 concerns "wire-line telecommunication networks including their in-house extensions" and it makes clear that "in-house extensions" in that context stands for the in-house part of such networks and not for equipment to be connected to the networks by stating:
"This mandate does not concern the preparation of harmonised standards relating to the electromagnetic compatibility of equipment to be connected to the networks."
However, this statement does not mean that equipment to be connected to the networks are the only products excluded from the scope of M/313. The fact that no products at all - neither those used in networks nor those connected to networks - are subject of M/313 is indisputable and has been formally confirmed by the Commmission itself according to the CENELEC document "STATUS REPORT ON THE FOLLOW-UP OF EC MANDATE M/313 ON EMC OF TELECOM NETWORKS" from June 2002  which states:
"3 Scope of M/313
3.1 Networks and not products
Following a query from CENELEC, the Commission has formally confirmed that M/313 envisages the preparation of harmonised standards on EMC of networks and not of products (...)"
It follows that mandate M/313 concerns the preparation of harmonised EMC standards neither for products used in networks nor for products to be connected to networks (product standards) but for networks as whole installations (network standards). Therefore the Commission's explanation that mandate M/313 was applicable because the devices in question form part of the network is incorrect and indeed represents a manifest error of appreciation in the Commission's assessment.
Actually CENELEC followed mandate M/313 only for networks using telephone wires and coaxial cables by preparing the two-part network standard EN 50529 in 2010 entitled as follows:
EN 50529-1: "EMC Network Standard - Part 1: Wire-line telecommunications networks using telephone wires."
EN 50529-2: "EMC Network Standard - Part 2: Wire-line telecommunications networks using coaxial cables."
But to this day CENELEC did not fulfill mandate M/313 from the year 2001 for networks using power lines. Instead, CENELEC did what it was expressly not supposed to do, namely to prepare the PLC product standard EN 50561-1 entitled "Power line communication apparatus used in low-voltage installations".
According to the European Commission, a "harmonised standard" issued within the context of the New Approach is a standard
- for which the European Commission (and/or EFTA)
has issued a standardisation mandate to CEN,
CENELEC or ETSI, and
- for which a reference has been published in the
Official Journal of the EU.
Although all standards developed by CEN, CENELEC and ETSI are the results of "European harmonisation" in a more general sense, only those standards which exhibit both properties listed above are deemed "harmonised standards" according to the legal definition by the European Commission.
The fact that a mandate is the basic prerequisite for the harmonisation of a standard by citation in the OJEU is confirmed by the "Guidelines for the publication of references of standards in the Official Journal of the European Union" (Brussels, 6th April 2005)  which stipulate:
"3. Which checks does the EC sectorial unit have to make ?
b) on the conformity of the content:
- is the standard covered by the relevant directive ?
- is the standard subject to the relevant mandate ?
the sectorial units have to be aware that the publication of references of
harmonised standards in the Official Journal has a legal effect and thus errors
have to be avoided."
In numerous publications and requests to the Commission since 2012 I have emphasized that no mandate exists for the standard EN 50561-1 and therefore its citation in the OJEU as a harmonised standard is illegitimate. The replies I received from the Commission were evasive letters from Mr Diego Canga Fano of 23 April 2013  and from Mr Gwenole Cozigou of 20 May 2014 . Mr Cozigou simply stated that EN 50561-1 were subject to mandate M/313 but completely ignored my arguments which refute that claim, he wrote in German:
"Die Kommission erteilte CENELEC und ETSI 2001 den Normungsauftrag M313 zur Entwicklung harmonisierter Normen für Telekommunikationsnetzwerke (...) Im Heimbereich verwendete PLC-Geräte unterliegen als Teil des Telekommunikationsnetzwerks dem Normungsauftrag M313."
Translated into English this reads as follows:
"In 2001 the Commission addressed mandate M313 to CENELEC and ETSI to develop harmonised standards for telecommunication networks (...) In-house PLC equipment are subject to mandate M313 as part of the telecommunication network."
Mandate M/313 concerns standards not for products but for telecommunication networks only as whole installations as outlined above. But the standard EN 50561-1 concerns "in-home communication apparatus that use the low-voltage power installation as the transmission medium", hence it is a PLC product standard and as such it is contrary to the Commission's assertion definitely not subject of mandate M/313.
Prior to the harmonisation of EN 50561-1 Mr Canga Fano wrote :
"In 2001, the Commission addressed Mandate 313 to CENELEC and ETSI to develop harmonised standards for telecommunication networks, including PLT ones. At the moment the draft standard FprEN 50561-1 (...) is under examination by the Commission services in view of a possible publication of its reference in the Official Journal as a harmonised standard (...)"
After the harmonisation, Mr Cozigou has confirmed in his letter  that the Commission regards M/313 to be the relevant mandate. So it is very obvious that the stipulated check if the standard EN 50561-1 is subject to M/313 has not been conducted or its outcome has been simply ignored during that examination by the Commission which Mr Canga Fano has mentioned, though the guidelines clearly state that "the publication of references of harmonised standards in the Official Journal has a legal effect and thus errors have to be avoided".
I have submitted evidence that - according to the legal definition for a harmonised standard by the European Commission - a mandate is a necessary prerequisite for the harmonisation of a standard by citation in the OJEU. And I have submitted evidence that - contrary to the Commission's assertions - the PLC product standard EN 50561-1 is not subject to M/313 because this mandate concerns only networks as whole installations but no products at all, neither products used in networks nor products to be connected to networks. Actually no mandate exists for the PLC product standard 50561-1 and therefore it is not eligible for citation in the OJEU. It follows that the Commission has ignored and breached its own regulations and the citation of EN 50561-1 as a harmonised standard in the OJEU is illegitimate.
The Commission's replies on my requests contradict its own mandate and its own formal confirmation given to CENELEC upon request according to which M/313 does not concern any products but only networks as whole installations. Therefore the Commission's replies were neither convincing nor satisfactory and its explanations do not effectively challenge my arguments for the illegitimacy of the harmonised standard EN 50561-1.
To download the related documents from my website please use the following URLs:
Withdraw the citation of EN 50561-1 as a harmonised standard in the OJEU and urge CENELEC to prepare a PLC network standard according to mandate M/313.
Yes (please specify)
In November 2012 I published a 2-part article concerning the draft standard FprEN 50561-1. In part two entitled "Doomed to Fail: FprEN 50561-1"
 I pointed out that a valid mandate for this standard does not
exist. In March 2013 this article was sent by email as well as by
registered mail to the following addressees:
- Antonio Tajani
Vice-President of the European Commission
- Martin Schulz
President of the European Parliament
- Luis Filipe Girao
Head of Unit F/5
Enterprise and Industry DG
- Birgit Weidel
Deputy Head of Unit F/5
Enterprise and Industry DG
- Elena Santiago Cid
Director General CEN-CENELEC
- Tore B. Trondvold
My letter to VP Tajani was answered by Diego Canga Fano with an evasive standard letter .
In March 2014 - just after the citation of EN 50561-1 in the OJEU - I published and sent an Open Letter  in German to Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, in which I stressed again that the citation is illegitimate because a valid mandate does not exist. My Open Letter to VP Reding was answered by Gwenole Cozigou .
As already explained, the Commission's replies were neither convincing nor satisfactory and its explanations do not effectively challenge my arguments for the illegitimacy of the harmonised standard EN 50561-1.
To download the related documents from my website please use the following URLs:
Please treat my complaint publicly