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23 September 2010

"Common commencement dates" arrive in France.

In a speech delivered on 17 September at a formal prize-giving ceremony to reward SME leaders, the French Prime minister F. Fillon announced a series of measures which aim to simplify the regulatory environment in which small companies operate, to boost their international competitiveness:
- Common commencement dates (CCD): the PM has indicated that “to limit regulatory instability”, he wished that new rules concerning business should be introduced on a “very limited” number of dates in the year, with the objective of reducing those dates to two a year. CCD are now part of the arsenal of measures that the countries most advanced in regulatory management strive to implement. Examples: the UK (two dates a year), the European Commission (this link offers a good analysis of the issue), the Netherlands and Denmark;
- A new senior official in charge of « reviewing draft legislation for new burdens on business”. Located in the PM’s office, the new commissioner will be in charge of checking that new regulation does not cause excessive burdens, especially for SMEs; starting with accounting rules, he will make sure that new rules are “manifestly indispensable” and proportionate to the size of the companies. The Employers Federation (MEDEF) had recently also created such a position.
These measures had been outlined by President Sarkozy in March, in a speech on industrial policy but had not yet been implemented.

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