From his Health Intersections site, this is Grahame Grieve on National Projects and Standards, and the tension between the two. I'm a standards geek, and I live for this sort of discussion. In this very concise article, Grieve discusses why projects at the national level rely on international standards groups, and how this introduces stress factors into these projects.
I also appreciate Lloyd McKenzie's comment about the interoperability across borders. This is one of the promises of using international standards, but in reality, it rarely comes up, and comes with it's own host of issues. Interoperability between two sibling releases of a standard can be trying enough, let alone between two nations localization to the same standard.
But that is what makes the work exciting.