A Closer Look at the United Nations WP.29

Le Laboratoire Reserche Interdisciplinaires Ville Espace Societe
Dennis Smith
Harrison Grafos

Setting industrial and product standards can have important implications for firms, consumers, industries, and national economies. Automobile standards are a case in point. For nearly a half-century, the Working Party 29 (WP) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe has helped set common vehicle construction policy for Europe. In 1998,when the WP became the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, it effectively broadened its reach to encompass development of global vehicle regulations and standards. Part of a research team effort based at the Ecole Nationaledes Travaux Publics de l’Etat, this project investigated the WP, the drive behind global vehicle regulation, and the international actors involved in an attempt to answer how vehicle standardization policy takes form.