Meeting the "Stoiber-group": A passionate call to step up efforts to cut red tape
"The EU needs to be big on big things and smaller on smaller things". Just shortly after the State of the Union Address, President Barroso attended a meeting of the "Stoiber Group", and discussed ways to further reduce administrative burden for businesses in order to boost growth and jobs.
President Barroso said: "Within the past five years the Commission has initiated measures that reduce red tape for EU businesses by up to €32.3 billion a year. We need to cooperate closely with Member States to ensure that these savings bring real relief to businesses. In early October, the Commission will present the next steps for making EU legislation fit for purpose and reducing the burden for companies, in particular, SMEs. These efforts are essential to put Europe back on track and generate more growth and more jobs."
Concrete measures adopted so far include the switch to a fully electronic VAT invoicing system and reducing the number of companies that need to provide data for intra-EU trade statistics. The latest initiative, adopted in June this year, further simplifies accounting rules for small companies, with an estimated annual savings of about €1.5 billion.
Quote from the State of the Union address of 11 September 2013: "I value subsidiarity highly. For me, subsidiarity is not a technical concept. It is a fundamental democratic principle. An ever closer union among the citizens of Europe demands that decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely to the people as possible. Not everything needs a solution at European level. Europe must focus on where it can add most value. Where this is not the case, it should not meddle. The EU needs to be big on big things and smaller on smaller things - something we may occasionally have neglected in the past. The EU needs to show it has the capacity to set both positive and negative priorities. As all governments, we need to take extra care of the quality and quantity of our regulation knowing that, as Montesquieu said, 'les lois inutiles affaiblissent les lois nécessaires'.['Useless laws weaken the necessary ones'.] But there are areas of major importance where Europe must have more integration, more unity. Where only a strong Europe can deliver results."