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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » April 28, 2011
Special Section - Technical Inspection
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CEOC International—50 Years of Public Safety
April 28, 2011   
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In 2011, CEOC International celebrates its 50th anniversary, looking back at five decades of continuous support and contribution to safety, quality and environmental issues. The venue of this year’s General Assembly seems to be well chosen, since Poland’s Office of Technical Inspection (UDT), a member of CEOC International and host of the event, also celebrates an important anniversary in 2011—100 years of technical inspection services in Poland.

A long-standing history
In the beginning, CEOC member organizations mainly aimed at contributing to a smooth and safe circulation of technical products which, in case of weaknesses or defaults in material and construction, could be a source of major accidents. In the meantime, the tasks and objectives of CEOC International have undergone several changes. After the introduction of the “New Approach” and the strengthening of standardization activities, the issuing of technical recommendations—a task that used to require a lot of commitment and work—was no longer the overall priority. Instead, CEOC started to focus on summarizing and guiding the enormous know-how of its members toward the responsible decision makers and partners involved.

Specifically, this meant the need to work out common positions on current issues affecting the inspection and certification sector and the subsequent presentation of these to the European Commission or through CEOC delegates in various standardization committees.

Membership means quality
The membership status and criteria have also changed during the past 30 years. When the confederation was founded, only one member organization per country was admitted. This precondition has been changed and at present some countries are represented within CEOC with several members.

Together in a united Europe and beyond
The opening up of the markets and the introduction of accreditation and notification as well as the creation of several new special interest groups—such as WELAC, WECC and later EA, EUROLAB, Eurachem, and EOTC—have led to a complete restructuring of CEOC’s work and its partnership environment. After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, a number of new countries began making preparations to join the European Union in 2004. This also implied an increase in CEOC membership.

All these changes have led to a situation in which CEOC members became competitors in the reshaped EU internal market. Due to varied implementation of EU directives and different notification approaches in different EU member states, competition moved to another level comprising previously unknown companies. In response to globalization, CEOC International has also developed further toward an international scope of activities in order to support its members in their daily work and business development.

Safe products and technical installations
CEOC International continues to fulfill a number of important tasks, with the overall aim of contributing to the safety of industrial installations and consumer products in EU and international markets.
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