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REFIT – making EU law lighter, simpler and less costly

What is REFIT?

REFIT is the European Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme. Action is taken to make EU law simpler and to reduce regulatory costs, so contributing to a clear, stable and predictable regulatory framework supporting growth and jobs.

To do this, REFIT requires a common effort between the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament, Member States and stakeholders. Every level of government should be involved to ensure that the benefits are realised for citizens and business at least cost.

What is new?

On 18 June 2014, the Commission reported on the progress in implementing REFIT and proposed a number of new initiatives for simplification and burden reduction, repeals of existing legislation and withdrawals of proposals pending in legislative procedure.

The first edition of an annual scoreboard assesses progress made in all policy areas and for each individual initiative, including by the Council and Parliament.

What has already been achieved?

Simplification and burden reduction have already been decided in several areas:

  • Electronic VAT Invoicing
  • Accounting/Financial Reporting
  • Chemicals Legislation
  • Patents
  • Public Procurement
  • Road Transport

What actions are underway?

REFIT is a rolling programme. Over 100 actions decided in October 2013pdf(151 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  are being implemented. These include simplification proposals for the benefit of business adopted by the Commission and awaiting decision by the legislator:

  • A standard EU VAT declaration
  • The improvement of the European Small Claims Procedure

They also include various evaluations and Fitness Checks, for example:

  • Waste
  • Protection of birds and habitats (Natura 2000)
  • General Food Law

In parallel, the Commission plans horizontal actions to improve the quality of policy proposals by revising Impact Assessment Guidelines and Stakeholders Consultation Guidelines.


Within REFIT, the Commission regularly withdraws proposals that are outdated or do not have the support of the legislator. Altogether, 293 proposals have been withdrawn since 2006. These include proposals for the Statute of a European Private Company, access to justice in the area of environment and on a Framework Directive on Soil.

Stakeholder Input

The Commission welcomes input, data and evidence to its Regulatory Fitness Agenda. This input feeds into the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) and is used to identify actions for simplification and burden reduction. Input can be made through an online contact form.

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