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"Regulatory fitness": making the best of EU law in difficult times

In a move to make it easier and cheaper for enterprises to do business and for citizens to enjoy the benefits of the Single Market, the Commission has presented a major package of measures to strengthen and improve the European regulatory framework and ensure the EU's "regulatory fitness".

It includes a new programme to cut any unnecessary regulatory costs at EU and national level. It also sharpens the tools that allow EU legislation to keep fit - impact assessments, evaluations, public consultations. The aim of the package is to help the EU to grow and compete in difficult times.

President Barroso said: "If Europe is to grow, create jobs and compete internationally, EU legislation must be fit for purpose. This is why we have put smart regulation at the heart of our policy-making. Today, we are stepping up our efforts by launching a new and comprehensive Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme. We will look at the existing stock of legislation and systematically target all that is not absolutely necessary to achieve sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness efficiently."

The package includes a Communication on "Regulatory Fitness" and two Staff Working Documents: on Public Consultations and on Administrative Burden Reduction , whose Action programme in the medium-term is expected to lead to an increase of 1.4% in EU GDP, equivalent to € 150 billion.

A consultation with small businesses is under way on the most burdensome pieces of legislation. SMEs can still participate in the consultation until 21 December 2012.

Press release on the new package

Questions and answers on smart regulation

Commission website on smart regulation