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Resource Efficiency

Commission seeks to streamline policies and legislation including on waste


The European Commission has published a Communication outlining the results of its ongoing efforts to cut ‘red tape’ by streamlining European policies and legislation, including those on waste and energy. The Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) sets out various areas of policy where the Commission will consider withdrawing existing proposals that have not been taken forward by the other institutions, repealing outdated legislation, or evaluating existing legislation to see if objectives can be met more efficiently. Read more…

A recent Eurobarometer survey indicated that 74% of Europeans believe there is too much EU bureaucracy. EU regulation is often accused of applying too many requirements that stifle businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Commission’s REFIT programme was set up to review the entire stock of EU legislation to identify burdens, inconsistencies, gaps or ineffective measures and to make the necessary proposals to follow up on the findings of the review.

A particular effort is being made in the field of environmental policy to make sure that legislation is simple, clear, and provides a stable and predictable regulatory framework. For example, the Commission is carrying out a review of EU waste policy and at the beginning of 2014 will hold a workshop to discuss the particular concerns of SMEs. The waste directives covered by this 'fitness check' are Directive 86/278/EEC (sewage sludge), Directive 94/62/EC (packaging and packaging waste), Directive 96/59/EC (PCB/PCT), Directive 2000/53/EC (end-of-life vehicles), and Directive 2006/66/EC (batteries).

Evaluations will also be carried out in the areas of the EU Eco-label, the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register, wild animals in zoos, the Aarhus Convention, environmental noise, environmental liability, volatile organic compounds, and Infrastructure for Spatial Information. The Commission will also consider withdrawing proposals for a Soil Framework Directive and Access to Justice.

Find more info:

European Commission Communication COM(2013) 685: Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT): Results and Next Steps Choose translations of the previous link 
Annex to the Communication Choose translations of the previous link 

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