Alphabetical index


Simplification of legislation

Simplifying legislation means weeding out the superfluous by rigorously applying the principles of necessity and proportionality. The exercise mainly involves the recasting and formal or informal consolidation of legislation.

The body of European law has expanded over the past two decades. Th e objective of creating a single market by 1992 generated a wave of European legislation. With this expansion of EU legislation, some areas of overlap and duplication were inevitable.

Simplification has now become a priority in order to ensure that Community action is transparent and effective. The pilot programme (Simplification of Legislation for the Internal Market — SLIM) covering four specific areas was launched in May 1996 and has been reinforced by a multiannual programme on the simplification and updating of Community legislation adopted by the European Commission in February 2003. It is designed to cut red tape, improve the quality of regulation and design better laws for consumers and business alike.


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