SC22/WG20 N940


To:                      ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22/WG 20


Title:                      Special Report on CEN/ISSS Cultural Diversity Steering Group and TC 304

Source:                      Erkki I. Kolehmainen, co-operation officer from CEN TC 304 to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2

Date:  2002-05-16


This report has been made in response to a request by the Convener of SC 22/WG 20, Arnold Winkler, to essentially summarize for distribution to SC 22/WG 20 the two most recent liaison reports from CEN TC 304 to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2 and its WG2 and WG3.


In 2000, PricewaterhouseCoopers had been contracted by the European Commission and EFTA via CEN/ISSS (Information Society Standardization System) to conduct a Cultural Diversity Study, for which the final report (at was published in March 2001 following an open meeting in Brussels on 22nd February 2001. In addition, PwC had prepared for a more limited circulation an annex to the report dealing specifically with CEN TC 304 (ICT - European Localization Requirements).


The Cultural Diversity study has led to the establishment of the CEN/ISSS Cultural Diversity Steering Group (CDSG), which has held thus far two physical meetings in Brussels: on 16th November 2001 and 12th April 2002. The Chair of CDSG is Marc Küster (from Saphor, Germany).


In essence, the purpose of CDSG is to produce a report for CEN/ISSS Forum, for use eventually for an action plan to be developed under the auspices of ICTSB (European Information and Communication Technologies Standards Board) and the European Commission. The report is to identify the subject areas where the incorporation of cultural diversity in ICT implementations could benefit from standardization activities, and the potential role of European organizations in this mandatorily global effort.


The CDSG meetings have been attended by the representatives of:

·        CEN/ISSS, including the Director and the Strategy Manager

·        CEN/ISSS Forum

·        CEN/TC 304 (3 representatives)

·        CEN/WS EC - Workshop on Electronic Commerce (2 representatives)

·        ETSI (European Telecommunications Standard Institute) Human Factors

·        ISO/IEC JTC1 CLAUI (Cultural and Linguistic Adaptability and User Interfaces)

·        The Unicode Consortium

·        The European Commission (DG Enterprise) as an observer.


The work of the steering group is also followed by:

·        ANEC (European Association for the Co-ordination of Consumer Representation in Standardization)

·        CEN/WS LT - Workshop on Learning Technologies

·        CEN/WS MMI/DC - Workshop on Metadata for Multimedia Information - Dublin Core

·        LISA (Localisation Industry Standards Association)

·        EFTA (European Free Trade Association) as an observer.


CDSG has set up a funded project team to produce the draft for the report. The April meeting was also attended by the selected project team members: John Clews (Keytempo Ltd., U.K.), project leader, and Håvard Hjulstad (Rådet for teknisk terminologi, Norway).


The current plan is to hold a physical meeting on 31st May and to produce the report for further processing by the end of June 2002. The current mandate for CDSG runs out at the end of 2002.



On TC 304:


Following the publication of the PWC report, TC 304 has held three Plenaries in Brussels, essentially tidying up its current Program of Work (on 23rd February, 26th June and 3rd December 2001).


Iceland (IST, formerly STRÍ) had announced in May 2001 (with an 1-year notice period) that they wish to relinquish the secretariat of CEN TC 304. In the uncertain situation, no other CEN member has responded to the call for new secretariat. Þorgeir Sigurðsson, although no longer employed by IST, has been contracted to be the secretary of CEN TC 304.


In the June 2001 Plenary, Wolf Arfvidson (from Statskontoret, Sweden) had announced that he could no longer (after 9 years) continue as the chair of CEN TC 304. While the secretariat issue has been unresolved, Wolf has continued as the acting chair.


TC 304 had completed most of its active work program by the end of 2001 when its contract for Commission funding did run out.



As TC 304 is about to enter a dormant state, it had been proposed that CDSG should carry out some of its current work. Since this would essentially have been outside the CDSG scope, Sweden has informed the CEN Technical Board that it is prepared to provide the limited secretariat type functions required to proceed on a limited number of current TC304 work items.



Sincerely,  Erkki


Erkki I. Kolehmainen, Senior Adviser

TIEKE Tietoyhteiskunnan kehittämiskeskus ry

TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre

Salomonkatu 17 A, 10th floor, FIN-00100 HELSINKI, FINLAND

Phone: +358 9 4763 0301, Fax: +358 9 4763 0399  -