It is a pleasure to present the EA Annual Report 2019. There were so many highlights in 2019, which demonstrate the important role of EA and accreditation.
The new Framework Partnership Agreement for 2019-2022 was signed with the European Commission end of 2018 and the European Free Trade Association early 2019, with the aim of widening and strengthening the co-operation with EA and its members, to reflect and support actively the development of EU policy and legislation for open and fair trade on the European market.
In May 2019 the EA MLA for Reference Material Producers was launched. At the end of 2019, 8 National Accreditation Bodies were evaluated and confirmed to comply with all relevant requirements.
2019 was also marked by the departure of Maria Papatzikou (ESYD, Greece) as EA Vice-Chair replaced by Cecilie Laake (NA, Norway), and Rolf Straub (SAS, Switzerland) replaced by Orbay Evrensevdi (TURKAK, Turkey) as EA Inspection Committee Chair.
The first report on the functioning of accreditation, as requested by the European Commission, was published in October 2019. The purpose is to show how accreditation is accepted in Europe and used by the European and national authorities, as well as private scheme owners and users, as the preferred means to demonstrate competence of Conformity Assessment Bodies and how robust the accreditation system is.
This work couldn’t be achieved without the continuous involvement and close cooperation between EA Members, Stakeholders, EA Evaluators and the Secretariat. The reactivity shown by EA and the National Accreditation Bodies in time of crisis is a living proof of the processes’ agility, for the benefit of the society.
2020 sounds challenging, and I’m convinced that we will face it as we have always been doing: together, all focused on our mission.
Dr Andreas Steinhorst, Executive Secretary