Making life easier for EU business through smart regulation
The EU has come a long way in the last few years in terms of reducing red tape, but there are still plenty of burdens on European businesses that need to be tackled through a smarter approach to regulation, European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said on Friday (1 February).
Speaking at the International Regulatory Reform Conference in Berlin, V-P Šefčovič underlined that the Commission had met its target of cutting red tape by 25% between 2007 and 2012, contributing €150bn to EU GDP as a result. A new programme, called REFIT, will now seek to build on this success by systematically checking the entire body of EU law to see where there are excessive burdens and then tackling them.
But he stressed that there was still more to do, especially with regard to making life easier for the millions of small and medium-sized enterprises that make up the vast majority of EU businesses.
"We will take action on the Top Ten most burdensome EU regulatory measures on the basis of a list drawn up by SMEs themselves. Among the legislation considered most burdensome by the SMEs surveyed were the REACH chemical regulations, VAT legislation, health and safety at work rules, most of the waste-related legislation and the rules on the recognition of professional qualifications, to name just a few," he said.
The Commission has tried to make its policy-making process more transparent in a bid to also make it simpler, V-P Šefčovič said. For example, a new impact assessment procedure has been introduced prior to proposals being made, and consultations with citizens, businesses and other interested parties feed into that process in order to allow the Commission to respond to real concerns on the ground.
Vice-President Šefčovič's speech to the IRRC conference in Berlin: Regulatory burden: why Europe needs to get smarter to do better