Simplification takes a number of forms – changing existing regulation, withdrawing proposals for new legislation, and using "soft regulation" in place of laws.
This involves incorporating all the amendments made to a piece of legislation over the years into a single new act. It reduces the volume and complexity of legislation and makes for more readable, legally secure and enforceable rules.
In a recast, legislation is amended and all previous amendments are incorporated too – in one consolidated text. This accounts for nearly half of all planned simplification initiatives.
Removal of unnecessary, irrelevant or obsolete legal acts from the statute book.
Review, revision or sunset clauses in legislation ensure it is reviewed or automatically repealed after a given period. Often used in areas where the technology is changing rapidly.
A legal instrument may be revised for a number of reasons, e.g.:
Unlike EU Directives – which merely set out principles that EU member governments must then incorporate into national laws, Regulations apply directly in all EU countries.
Replacing Directives with Regulations ensures everyone is subject to the same rules – and stops national governments adding their own requirements on top of the EU's (so-called ‘gold-plating’).
The Commission regularly monitors pending legislation and withdraws proposals which are:
Where appropriate, self-regulation and co-regulation are simpler alternatives to imposing detailed rules, with fewer administrative burdens.