First tangible results of EU's drive to cut red tape being felt by Europeans and businesses alike, says progress report.
Having weeded out 5 000 pages of EU law since October 2007 – some 300 legal acts – the EU is beginning to reap the benefits of its drive to simplify legislation. Companies pocketed an estimated €500m of savings in 2007 and expect to see another €800m come their way shortly.
With 40 EU laws said to account for over 80% of the EU's perceived administrative burden, the commission is looking for change. In January 2007 it set itself the target of reducing red tape on businesses by 25% by 2012.
Without jeopardising the purpose of the legislation or watering down the protection it provides, certain measures are being revised to make EU rules easier to implement. For example:
Far from going it alone, the commission is being assisted by an independent monitoring group and has set up a special website to gather suggestions on reducing administrative burdens from businesses and individuals across Europe.