Brussels, 7 December 2010
Good progress in cutting red tape: lending a hand to businesses
The Commission's efforts to cut unnecessary administrative burdens are progressing well, making the lives of businesses easier, in particular small and medium sized enterprises, and strengthening European competitiveness The Commission has already tabled proposals with a reduction potential well above the target of 25 % and is preparing new proposals bringing the total reduction potential to almost 33 % or EUR 40.7 bn.. That is the key message of the update about the implementation of the Action Programme for Reducing Administrative Burdens in the EU, published today on the eve of the Competitiveness Council. Commission President José Manuel Barroso discussed this progress today with the Chairman of the High-Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens, Dr. Edmund Stoiber. The Group advises and assists the Commission on administrative burden reduction and will produce a report on best practice in Member States by end of 2011.
The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said: "I am very glad about the good results of our efforts to reduce administrative burdens. They are part of our endeavours to support growth and jobs, and to improve the business environment through smart regulation in these difficult times. Considerable progress has been made, but we need to continue our hard work to get rid of unnecessary bureaucracy. I count in this context on the ongoing precious support and advice from the High-Level Group chaired by Dr. Edmund Stoiber. I strongly hope that the proposals still pending before the Council and the European Parliament will be adopted rapidly, notably in the field of accounting, thereby lending a much needed hand to European businesses and in particular to the very small ones."
The target to reduce administrative burdens for businesses in the EU by 25 % by 2012 and the corresponding Action Programme were proposed by the Commission in January 2007, and endorsed by the European Council in March 2007. The improvement of the business environment by cutting red tape is a joint objective which can only be attained on the basis of a shared responsibility of the European Institutions and the Member States.
The Commission has already proposed measures that reduce administrative burdens by more than 31%. Out of this, Council and Parliament have adopted measures amounting to a reduction of 21.8 %. Measures representing a reduction of 9.3% are still pending before the Council or the Parliament. The Commission is preparing new proposals bringing the total reduction potential to almost 33 % or EUR 40.7 bn. The Commission calls on Council and Parliament to adopt the remaining proposals. Furthermore, the Commission encourages Member States to implement EU law in the least burdensome way and has asked the High-Level Group chaired by Dr. Edmund Stoiber to produce a report on best practice in Member States by end of 2011.