Navigation path

Left navigation

Additional tools


Brussels, 27 September 2005

Better regulation: Commission intends to withdraw one third of screened proposals

Today, the European Commission has delivered more results from its better regulation initiative. After screening 183 proposals for EU laws pending at the European Parliament and Council, the Commission has decided to announce toscrap more than a third (68). Some of the proposals are inconsistent with the objectives of the new Partnership for Growth and Jobs (Lisbon) or do not meet better regulation standards. Others are not advancing in the legislative process, or are simply outdated. Today’s decision is just part of the Commission’s much broader initiative to cut red-tape and over-regulation. This exercise constitutes a step change in the way the Commission seeks to ensure that the quality of legislation in Europe promotes the objectives of the Partnership for Growth and Jobs. As a next step, the Commission will submit far-reaching proposals to simplify existing EU legislation in October. For more details see MEMO/05/340.

The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said: “This initiative shows that the Commission is firmly committed to producing better legislation. We have looked at everything on the table and cleared away what we don’t need and what the Council and Parliament were never going to agree to. That means we can concentrate our efforts on boosting Europe's prosperity and making Europe a better place to live and work. But there is more work to do yet, so next we’ll be looking at laws that are already in force so we can make them simpler and more effective.”

Vice-President Günter Verheugen added: “This is just the beginning. We want to tackle red-tape and over-regulation on all fronts. It will only work if Member States do their bit as well. This exercise is definitely not about less Europe, but about a better Europe. EU regulation makes sense where it adds value – but where it doesn’t, we’ll scrap it.”

The Commission has screened all Commission proposals pending before the Council and the Parliament that predate 1 January 2004. This meant 183 proposals were scrutinized according to the following set of tests:

  • Would they contribute to competitiveness?
  • Would they improve regulation?
  • Would there be a realistic chance of their being adopted if they were left on the table?
  • Had they become obsolete?

Of those 183 proposals, about 100 constitute truly new legislative initiatives, while the rest relate to international obligations, administrative decisions, technical adaptation and, in some cases, codification and simplification of EU laws.

68 proposals will be withdrawn

These were found not to be consistent with the Lisbon or better regulation criteria, to be unlikely to make further progress in the legislative process or to be no longer up to date for objective reasons.

sales promotion in the Internal Market
labelling of foodstuffs
week-end ban for lorries
pack sizes for coffee

On five proposals, which the Commission decided to maintain, the Commission will present economic impact analysis.


Shipment of waste

Signature of convention on aircraft mobile equipment

VAT and administrative cooperation for travel agents.

The remaining 109 proposals will be maintained. They add European value and include proposals that are pro-Lisbon, for example the better regulation codification proposals, or are purely technical proposals, e.g. of an administrative nature.

Concerning the proposal on optical radiations, the screening has also led the Commission to conclude that the aspects dealing with exposure of workers to sunlight should be deleted.

Concerning the proposal on temporary workers the Commission will reconsider the proposal in the light of future discussions on other proposals. .

The withdrawal of pending proposals will, in some cases, take place in the framework of an overall review of policies or with the intention to reconsider proposals in the light of new policy elements and a comprehensive impact assessment.

In line with the commitments in the Framework Agreement on Relations between the European Parliament and the Commission, the Commission is giving prior notification to Parliament and the Council before formally withdrawing its proposals.

Next steps
The Commission’s better regulation efforts will now focus on simplifying and updating the existing 80.000 page body of EU legislation. The Commission will launch a new phase including a work programme in October 2005. The Commission has asked Member States, business and citizens to tell it where red-tape and over-regulation can be cut. An internet consultation on this will run until the end of December at:

The Commission cannot achieve better regulation on its own. This is why Member States will present their initiatives promoting BR by October 15th, as required under their “Lisbon National Reform Programmes”.
The Commission Communication and the full list of the proposals to be withdrawn is available at:

Side Bar