The Commission's simplification programme streamlines EU legislation to make it more understandable and user-friendly for EU citizens. Each year, it launches a set of simplification initiatives – drawing on input from individuals, businesses, NGOs, national authorities and other stakeholders.
Simplification can take a number of forms:
Changes to existing law
Directly applicable regulations
EU directives set out principles that EU national governments must then incorporate into national laws, whereas EU regulations apply directly in all EU countries.
Replacing directives with regulations ensures all EU citizens are subject to the same rules and prevents national governments from adding extra requirements.
Withdrawal of proposals
Pending legislation and proposals for new legislation are withdrawn if found to be obsolete due to scientific or technical advances or if they are no longer in line with current policy objectives.
Self-regulation and co-regulation
Self-regulation and co-regulation can be simpler alternatives to imposing detailed rules in legally binding agreements: