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31 May 2011

Smart regulation relevance re-affirmed (EU Council)

EU presidencies are influential in nudging agendas and conclusions of the European Council, though of course official texts represent the consensus. The press release (see section page 11 and text of conclusions) published yesterday (30 May 2011) following the Competitiveness Council puts smart regulation back right at the top of the agenda, from which it had seemed to decline in recent presidencies. Council recognises the success of better regulation and asks that MS "move up one notch" and "systematically apply smart regulation principles throughout the EU policy-making process."
The Council adopted conclusions on "smart regulation", underlining, among other elements, the continuous need of reducing administrative burdens for businesses to what is strictly necessary, in order to allow them to work and compete more effectively. Ministers also put emphasis on the need to establish mechanisms which would allow the Council to conduct impact assessments. In particular, the conclusions provide with orientations, addressed to the national governments, the European Parliament and the European Commission, for:
– improving the implementation and enforcement of existing EU legislation;
– ensuring high quality of new legislation through impact assessments, simplification and reduction of unnecessary administrative burdens, in particular for SMEs; and
– making EU law more clear, easily understandable and accessible to all citizens.
In addition, Member States backed the Presidency’s proposal on easing the financial reporting burden of micro-entities and adopted conclusions on 12 concrete actions of the Single Market Act, but could not reach an agreement on the creation of the European Private Company (see presidency press release).

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