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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, thus contributing to a clear, stable and predictable regulatory framework supporting growth and jobs.

To do this successfully, REFIT requires a joint 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 at least cost for citizens and business. The Commission welcomes input, data and evidence to its Regulatory Fitness Agenda: Have your say!

Help us cut red tape - Have your say!

The Commission would like to hear your views on how to make EU laws more effective and efficient via an online contact form. Your suggestions will be examined by the Commission and may be used to identify actions for simplification and burden reduction within the REFIT programme. The Commission publishes relevant contributions and feedback.

What is new?

On 17 December 2014, the Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2015. In this context, the Commission confirmed all REFIT actions planned for implementation during 2015. A number of pending legislative proposals from previous Commissions will be withdrawn. Some do not match the new Commission's political priorities. In other cases, the Commission remains committed to the objectives but will propose new, better ways of achieving them.

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. This also includes repeals of existing legislation and withdrawals of proposals pending in legislative procedure.

An annual scoreboard assesses progress for each individual initiative, including at the level of 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 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, Stakeholders Consultation Guidelines and Evaluation 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. Proposals withdrawn included the Statute of a European Private Company, access to justice in the area of environment and a Framework Directive on Soil.

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