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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 Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission, 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!

REFIT Platform – Call for expressions of interest

The Commission calls for expressions of interest for membership in the newly created REFIT platform which will advise the Commission on initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens of EU law.

The call for expressions of interest is addressed to representatives of business, including SMEs, social partners and civil society organisations, having direct experience in the application of EU legislation.

Deadline for applications: 1 September 2015

Lighten the load - 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?

By Decision of 19 May 2015, the Commission has set up the REFIT Platform to conduct an ongoing dialogue with Member States and stakeholders on improving EU legislation in the context of the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme. The REFIT Platform consists of two standing groups, one for Member State experts ("government group") and one for representatives of business, social partners and civil society ("stakeholder group").

On 19 May 2015, the Commission reported on the progress in implementing REFIT as part of its Communication "Better Regulation for Better Results – An EU Agenda".

An annual scoreboard assesses progress for each individual initiative, including at the level of the Parliament and Council.

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 have been withdrawn on 7 March 2015. 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.

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. Almost 200 actions decided in October 2013pdf Choose translations of the previous link  and June 2014pdf(245 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 in the areas of:

In addition, the Commission has adopted new Better Regulation Guidelines covering planning, impact assessment, preparation of proposals, implementation and transposition, monitoring, evaluation and stakeholder consultation.

Withdrawals

Within REFIT, the Commission regularly withdraws proposals that are outdated or do not have the support of the legislator. Almost 400 proposals have been withdrawn since 2006. Proposals withdrawn in 2015 include Investor Compensation schemes, the Statute for a European Foundation and European Tourism Quality Principles.

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