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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Models to reduce the disproportionate regulatory burden on SMEs

What is at stake?

The reduction of the administrative and regulatory burden is a top-priority for the European Commission. A special focus on SMEs is necessary, since research indicates that SMEs are disproportionately affected by regulation: The regulatory and administrative costs (measured, for instance, per employee and compared to turnover) for smaller businesses can be up to ten times higher than for large companies.

The project

A group of national experts designated by participating countries collected information on the various models that have been used successfully by Member States to reduce the burden of public regulation, in particular the burden on SMEs. Such models include e.g. total, partial or temporal exemptions of small businesses from regulation, simplified rules, special information and assistance, electronic services and a privileged treatment of small businesses by public administrations.

The group discussed the effectiveness of more than 100 cases where such models have been applied by from Member States. For its final report the group selected 30 good practice cases that illustrate how the various models can be applied to reduce the disproportionate regulatory burden on small businesses.

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