This independent blog collects news about projects or achievements in regulatory reform / better regulation. It is edited by Charles H. Montin. All opinions expressed are given on a personal basis.
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27 November 2012

"Like-minded" MS call for strong Smart Regulation Action Plan

Last week, in a landmark letter to President Barroso, the ministers in charge of economic affairs of 13 Member States called on the European Commission to inter alia "go beyond looking at administrative burdens (also including compliance costs; consider sectoral targets... and produce a roadmap to reduce the overall regulatory burden over the next 2 years." The letter also calls to publish an annual statement of the total net costs to business of new legislative proposals and maintain an annual balance of close to zero net costs. The rest of the 10 Point Plan addresses other dimensions of smart regulation (RIA, the Impact Assessment Board, the Think Small First principle, fitness checks, and common commencement dates.)
For positions agreed by all 27 MS, the best source is the regular Council conclusions (see for instance June 2012 Conclusions under Danish presidency) which are of course more consensual.
It is not rare that a group of MS publish a joint position on the development of smart regulation, see for instance the report "Smart Regulation: a cleaner, fairer and more competitive EU" issued by the UK, The Netherlands and Denmark in March 2010, but up to now, this group had not got so close to a majority of MS.
This new joint letter intervenes at a moment when the European Commission is finalising its Communication on "EU Regulatory Fitness", to be published on 12 December, two years after the issuance of its Communication on "Smart Regulation in the EU." In the past months, the Commission has been taking stock of the progress made and drawing lessons from its experience. A stakeholder consultation was open from June to September to collect views and proposals to inform the next communication. The Commission website publishes the consultation document and all 118 contributions received, among which those of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Eurochambres) and Businesss Europe. Both organisations strongly support the smart regulation process encompassing the entire policy cycle and in slightly different ways, their contributions both offer much technical expertise.

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