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11 December 2012

France cuts red tape in competitiveness drive

Last week, the French government published a very complete press pack on the National Pact for Growth, Competitiveness and Employment, (the download includes anEnglish translation) which is a particularly welcome document for all experts monitoring, for comparative purposes, the new official policy.
Approach: As regards red tape onbusiness, the approach is spelt out in section VII of the paper ("simplfify administrative procedures and the regulatory framework surrounding business"): the government confirms its commitment "to exploiting all possible drivers to make things easier for companies (SMEs in particular), reduce the administrative burden on them and reduce administration processing times. These objectives will be pursued in the general interest and in line with Government guidelines in terms of ecology, public health, worker and consumer protection, etc."
How will the new policy be delivered: "Working closely with companies and their representatives, an initial multi-year programme to simplify administrative procedures is to be developed" by the next meeting of the Conseil interministériel pour la modernisation de l'action publique (CIMAP) in December 2012. It can be updated regularly with proposals from companies and ministers. Progress of this work will be monitored on the basis of precise indicators decided by companies and the CIMAP (quarterly). Companies will be closely involved in developing and monitoring the simplification measures.
Fast-track actions:
  • a five-pronged approach to reducing red tape on companies ("tell us just once" scheme to reduce information obligations, single declaration process for social information, streamline commercial property procedures, simplify aid mechanisms, limit gold-plating of EU law);
  • a sustained red tape cutting exercise under the authority of the Prime Minister;
  • an "SME test" for new draft legislation with the strongest potential impact on SMEs, to include tax issues;
  • by the end of 2012, a "rationalisation" drive on the tax burden, on the basis of zero net growth: no new tax to be levied without a corresponding reduction.
Departments working to support the policy (see also previous post):

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