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Making life easier for SMEs by easing top 10 most burdensome EU laws


In a broad consultation initiated by the European Commission, around 1000 SMEs and business organisations have identified the top 10 most burdensome EU laws. Today the Commission presented the results and committed to continue making life easier for SMEs.

The purpose of the consultation was to check where EU rules might be impeding jobs and growth in the Member States. The 20.8 million European small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) create 85% of all new jobs in Europe, employ 2/3 of the workforce in the EU and they contribute significantly to innovation and growth. In line with the Small Business Act of 2008, the Commission has put SMEs at the heart of its smart regulation agenda to help growth and job creation in Europe.

The Commission will now address the findings from the consultation via the new Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme, which will screen EU legislation for burdens, gaps and inefficiencies in order to evaluate the rules and, if appropriate, revise them.

"The Commission is making sure that EU legislation is fit for purpose and helps European businesses to grow and to create jobs. This is why we have put smart regulation at the heart of our policy-making", said President Barroso. "And this is why we want to ease the lives of our small and medium sized enterprises, which are most important engines for Europe's economy. I want to thank all those who contributed to identifying the most burdensome pieces of legislation. We will work hard not to disappoint your expectations."

The consultation also revealed that small businesses appreciate reduced payment deadlines – under the Late Payments Directive entering into force on 16 March – as one of the most successful legal improvements, together with allowing more SMEs to benefit from simplified accounting and auditing regimes.

Read the press realease

Read the memo

Results of the public consultation

Communication "Smart Regulation – Responding to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises

Staff working document "Monitoring and Consultation on Smart Regulation for SMEs"

Communication and Staff working document