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The increasing dynamism, complexity and challenges of networks and services cannot be handled by traditional management schemes. The alternative is the approach of autonomic network and service management. In this context, the UniverSelf research project proposes a promising solution, called Unified Management Framework (UMF) with the goal to unify and establish autonomics in the management of networks and services. UMF provides the processes, tools and methods for achieving unification of diverse autonomic solutions, governance of automatically managed infrastructures and services, and “plug and play” of autonomic solutions within existing and future management ecosystems. Despite the soundness of UMF vision from the research point of view, careful and well planned roadmap towards standardization is required in order to boost its deployability and operator adoption. Accordingly, this paper first describes the approach followed for the design of UMF and the set of functional blocks derived as an outcome of this approach. Based on the elaboration and evolution of these functional blocks, the focus is then placed on three components namely, governance, knowledge, coordination, which comprise the so called UMF core and will monopolize the effort towards deriving the upcoming releases of UMF. The standardization opportunities of UMF can be actually indentified while looking into these components and their associated interfaces.