The Director of Standards of CEN CENELEC has in a mail to the Chair of CEN WS-LT and CEN TC 353 of January 10th 2012 informed the standardisation organisation will not allow the use of URIs as uniqe identifiers in CEN WGAs referring to CEN as the name space. Furthermore, European Norms cannot use URIs as global idenfiers at all.
This is the full text of the e-mail from Director Standards Jean-Paul VETSUYPENS:
"The I am contacting you following the request for a CEN policy on unique identifiers for concepts contained in CWA and ENs developed within CEN WS LT and TC 353.
At the WS and TC plenary meetings held in October 2011, you have been informed about the outcome of the CEN Task Force URI and have informed the CEN-CENELEC representative (Ms Gatti) that your original request made in Autumn 2009 was still not responded.
After your clarification to my colleagues, we have re-considered the issue internally and we are of the opinion that the recommendation taken by the CEN-CENELEC Joint Commercial Advisory Group in September 2011 regarding choice of DOIs versus URIs does indeed reply to your request.
The CEN-CENELEC Management Centre cannot provide a service based on URIs as the solution chosen for CEN-CENELEC is for the moment DOIs.
We have to reinforce also the fact that, although it could be acceptable for free CWAs developed within the ICT field to make reference to objects hosted on an external server, this practice cannot be extended to the case of EN. Indeed, once an EN has gone through the voting procedure and has been published, the content is “frozen”. CEN has the responsibility to ensure the availability and the stability of the content of the standard through its lifetime. It would be hardly possible to comply with this principle when part of the standards are not hosted in CEN.
We hope that you can consider the use of DOIs for your services, or find alternative ways to describe concepts in the documents. We remain at your disposal for any clarification on this issue."
In the aftermath of the October meetings of the WS-LT and TC 353 a number of e-mails were exchanges and a electronic meeting held trying to explain the need for a CEN name space policy and he use of URIs as unique identifiers. As a result, the secretariat wanted to prepare a document for CEN Technical Board in order to invite the Board to make a decision in this matter. A draft document was circulated to the WS-LT chairs for comments, and the attached file is the amended document returned to the secretariat for presentation to the Technical Board, giving a fair account of the WS-LT and TC 353 view. Hopefully this document was presented to the Director of Standards before he decided to turn down the requests of the CEN WS-LT and the TC 353.