It is a complicated question as to whether the CE 'A' Open Ocean standard means a boat is blue water capable. To understand the CE Directive for Pleasure Craft (The text of which can be found http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/marit...tive_94_25.htm
), you need to understand its purpose. When the EU was organizing as a essentially a trade free zone, there was a need to develop uniform standards that would replace the standards that were then in place in each of the individual member countries. In the case of standards for pleasure craft, there were huge variations between contries that had very stringent requirements to countries that voluntary standards to countries with no standards at all.
The process of developing standards started out quite scientifically. Some of the research papers that came out of the preliminary research was really ground breaking. But ultimately the developement of the standards was very political. Since each of the signatory countries had to agree with the standards, the standards had to be a compromise from the most stringent and most tollerant standards used by the member countries. France in particular was very concerned about having standards that were so stringent that it damaged its boat building industry.
In any event, the CE standards ended up being a kind of minimum standard that all of the member countries could agree to and nothing more. The standard deals with structure, and stability and many of the components that are necessary in making a seaworthy craft. The basic text is quite schematic, but there are a number of annex's and addendum and attached by reference standards that more specifically define such items as engine intsallations, electrical installations and so on.
What the standards do not address, are things like deck plan, motion comfort, sail handling gear, interior layout, and so which are all components of making a boat truely suitable for offshore use. And so while a boat may carry an Open Ocean rating, it does not mean that it is truly ideal for prolonged use offshore. And that all comes back to a topic that was on this board a few weeks ago, Risk Management. While a particular boat may have sailed around the world without drowning its crew, that does not mean that it would be a good choice for that purpose. In reality it may have made through luck and good seamanship. But the choice to use any boat offshore comes down to how lucky the sailor feels and how much risk they are willing to take. With the CE an open ocean rating is the most minimal standard that could be agreed to amoungst nations, it is not intended to tell any particular sailor that their boat is actually safe in the kind of conditions that are likely to be encountered if one spends enough time offshore or that it will stand up to the kind of steady abuse that offshore sailing imposes.