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16 October 2013

EU Regulatory Fitness: results and next steps

On 2 October 2013, the Europan Commission published a Communication (COM(2013) 685 final) on "Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT): Results and Next Steps" which will be of great interest to smart regulators.
Extract from the press release:
"Whereas regulation at EU level is essential in many areas, it is often accused of stifling businesses, especially the smallest ones, or of interfering too much in citizens' daily lives. 74% of Europeans believe that the EU generates too much red tape. In response to that concern, the Commission has made a concerted effort over the past few years to streamline legislation and reduce regulatory burdens. In his 2013 State of the Union address on 11 September, President Barroso stressed the importance of smart regulation and declared that the European Union needs to be "big on big things and smaller on small things".
Today, the Commission takes another important step in ensuring that EU legislation is fit for purpose. In a Communication the Commission sets out in a concrete way, policy area by policy area, where it will take further action to simplify or withdraw EU laws, ease the burden on businesses and facilitate implementation. It is the result of a screening of the entire stock of EU legislation. The Commission also announced today the intention to publish a scoreboard to track progress at European and national in this regard. This exercise is at the heart of the Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT). "
The Commission website offers a summary of results of the 2007-2012 Action Programme for reducing administrative burdens in the EU, claiming that "the programme has reached its target its target of cutting 25% the administrative burdens stemming from EU legislation (estimated at €124 billion). The measures adopted at EU level until December 2012 are worth € 30.8 billion in annual savings for businesses.
The Commission exceeded the target by tabling proposals with a burden reduction potential close to €41 billion (33%). Some of this potential was lost in the legislative process as the Commission proposals were amended.
If all the Commission's proposals still pending before Council and Parliament in December 2012 are adopted, the total estimated burden could be reduced by 30.5 % representing total annual savings for businesses of €37.6 billion."

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