BEST (i.e. benchmarking) projects are carried out within the context of the DG Enterprise and Industry's Best Procedures which provide a funding tool to meet the Commission's strategic aim of creating a business-friendly environment in the EU. BEST reports help focus high-level political attention on key issues to bring about concrete changes in national policies to improve the business environment.
BEST Expert Groups are established, composed of representatives from the Commission, from national/regional authorities, environment and industry ministries, an SME business associations and an environment NGO. The expert groups are fully involved in all stages of the project, providing information on their national and regional initiatives as well as working with the consultants.
BEST project on the Streamlining and Simplification of Environment-Related Requirements on Companies
Many European countries have launched initiatives to reduce administrative burdens on both the public and private sector and the European Commission has put better EU regulation and the simplification of existing EU laws at the forefront of its work programme. This BEST Project analysed both national and, where relevant regional, initiatives to streamline and simplify environment-related regulatory requirements and to improve their cost-effectiveness, their proportionality and coherence. Key findings are described in a report published in June 2006 [2 MB] . More information is available at the page "Simplifying implementation".
Best Project on Environmental Management Systems in SMEs
Environmental management systems are an important tool to improve environmental performance and achieve more sustainable production patterns. At present the uptake of such systems in Europe is low, particularly among small and medium-sized enterprises, which face at number of specific barriers in this respect. This raises the question what public authorities - together with other actors - can do to address these barriers and to significantly increase the numbers of SMEs with an EMS. This question has been examined and the key findings are described in a report [467 KB] published in February 2004.