Reducing the red tape and burden of bureaucracy

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european union Consumer rules

european union Consumer rulesTHUNDER BAY – International – Reducing the red tape and burden of bureaucracy is a key to boosting business and entrepreneurship. The easier it is for an entrepreneur to start a business, the more likely it will be that investors, and individuals will start businesses.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: “The Commission is making sure that EU legislation is fit for purpose and helps European businesses to grow and to create jobs. This is why we have put smart regulation at the heart of our policy-making. And this is why we want to ease the lives of our small and medium sized enterprises, which are most important engines for Europe’s economy. I want to thank all those who contributed to identifying the most burdensome pieces of legislation. We will work hard not to disappoint your expectations.”

Red Tape and Burden of Bureacracy

In the European Union, one of the keys seen to boosting the economy is boosting the 20.8 million European small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Those SMEs create 85% of all new jobs in Europe.

SMEs employ 2/3 of the workforce in the EU and they contribute significantly to innovation and growth.

The European Union reports, “Following the principle ‘think small first’, and in line with the Small Business Act of 2008, the Commission has put SMEs at the heart of its smart regulation agenda to help growth and job creation in Europe.

“In a broad consultation initiated by the Commission, around 1000 SMEs and business organisations have now identified the top 10 most burdensome EU laws”.

Over regulation impedes jobs and growth

The purpose of this broad consultation was to check where EU regulation might be impeding jobs and growth and to identify areas or issues which would require further examination and action where necessary. The result published today indicates that SMEs see the biggest difficulties and costs as a consequence of the rules regarding the REACH chemical legislation, value added tax, product safety, recognition of professional qualifications, data protection, waste legislation, labour market related legislation, recording equipment for road transport, public procurement and the modernised customs code.

The Commission, while recognising the overall necessity of having European-wide rules in these areas, will now thoroughly address these concerns via the new Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT1) launched in December 2012 (IP/12/1349). Through this programm, the EU’s regulatory acquis is being screened for burdens, gaps and inefficiencies in order to evaluate and if appropriate revise those laws where the assessment points to a need for action.

The Commission will announce follow up actions by June 2013, also taking into account the outcome of the ongoing legislative processes.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, added: “SMEs which are creating the lion’s share of all new jobs in Europe are the key to get out of this crisis. Our legislation needs to be designed with SMEs (and especially new entrepreneurs) in mind: it must be smart, it must be simple and it must be stable. The better we listen to SMEs concerns, the better they can help us to return to growth. “

The following EU laws have been identified by SMEs as the TOP 10 most burdensome EU laws:

  • REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals)

  • VAT – Value added tax legislation

  • General Product Safety and market surveillance package

  • Recognition of professional qualifications

  • Shipments of waste – Waste framework legislation – List of waste and hazardous waste

  • Labour market-related legislation

  • Data protection

  • Working time

  • Recording equipment in road transport (for driving and rest periods)

  • Procedures for the award of public contracts (public works, supply and service contracts)

  • Modernised customs code

In many of these areas (e.g. professional qualifications, data protection, procurement, etc.) the Commission has already taken action to further improve and simplify EU legislation