Ecma International

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Acronym: Ecma

Established: 1961

Address: Rue du Rhône 114, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland


Stakeholder group: NGOs and associations

Ecma International is a global standards development organisation dedicated to the standardisation of information and communication systems. Established in 1961, Ecma has been a pioneer in providing a framework for the collaboration of standardisation and open source. The work is driven by Ecma members to address market requirements, providing a healthy competitive environment where competition is based on the differentiation of products and services, and where vendors and users can rely on the interoperability of technical solutions.

Areas of work include the development and publication of Standards and Technical Reports for information and communications technology (ICT) and consumer electronics (CE), with a broad scope of standardisation topics including hardware, software, communications, consumer electronics, Internet of Things (IoT), programming languages, media storage, and environmental subjects. Ecma’s pragmatic, flexible, member-driven model is effective at enabling technical committees to form and iterate rapidly on internationally recognised open standards.

Digital activities

For over 60 years, Ecma has actively contributed to worldwide standardisation in information technology and telecommunications. More than 400 Ecma Standards and 100 Technical Reports of high quality have been published, covering areas such as data presentation and communication, data interchange and archiving, access systems and interconnection and multimedia, programming languages, and software engineering and interfaces, two-thirds of which have also been adopted as International Standards and/or Technical Reports.
One of the first programming languages developed by Ecma, FORTRAN, was approved in 1965. ECMAScript® (JavaScript), with several billion implementations, is one of the most used standards worldwide.

Digital policy issues

Digital standards

A large part of Ecma’s activity is dedicated to defining standards and technical reports for ICTs (hardware, software, communications, media storage, etc.). This work is carried out through technical committees and task groups focusing on issues such as information storage, multimedia coding and communications, programming languages, open XML formats, and product-related environmental attributes. Our members are committed to Ecma’s success and progress and follow best practices and efficient processes for the development and approval of standards, making Ecma a respected and trusted industry association. Ecma has close working relations – such as liaisons, cooperation agreements, and memberships – with European and international standardisation bodies as well as with some forums and consortia. Our long-established relationships with other standardisation organisations are well maintained and enable us to publish our specifications as international standards.

Telecommunications infrastructure

Network security

Sustainable development/Digital and environment

Programming languages such as ECMAScript (JavaScript) and C#

Data-related standards

Technical committees (TCs) and task groups (TGs) covering issues such as access systems and information exchange between systems (TC51), information storage (TC31), product-related environmental attributes (TC38), ECMAScript® language (TC39), office open XML formats (TC45), and ECMAScript® modules for embedded systems (TC53). The list of Ecma standards is noted above.

Future of standards

The participation in Ecma of many worldwide leading companies ensures not only the acceptance of Ecma Standards in European and international standardisation, but also their worldwide implementation.

Ecma’s goal for the next decade is to continue to play a key role in the extraordinary development of IT, telecommunications and consumer electronics, via the dissemination of new technologies, and by the delivery of first-class standards to our members, partners, and the standard-user community. Ecma aims to continue to bring in major contributions, move technology from members to mature standards, and collaborate with the world’s major standards developing organisations (SDOs).

Future of meetings

Ecma maintains a pragmatic approach to meeting participation. Our General Assembly typically takes place as a physical meeting to allow in-person discussions and interaction among members. For members who cannot participate in person, remote attendance is possible with videoconferencing and other digital tools. 

Ecma’s technical committees hold either physical, hybrid, or virtual meetings depending on their specific needs.

Ecma meetings are typically held outside of Ecma’s HQ. As a general principle, members are encouraged to host meetings.  Invitations are by a technical committee member who host the meeting at a facility of their choice.

For meetings, consensus building, and voting, Ecma focuses on being efficient and effective. The meeting place and mode are decided upon by the committee.

Social media channels

LinkedIn @ecma-international

X @EcmaIntl