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European Commission - Press release

Europe can do better: President Barroso welcomes best practice report on administrative burden reduction and calls on Member States to learn from each other

Brussels, 21 February 2012 - Today President Barroso received the Chairman of the High Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens, Dr. Edmund Stoiber, who handed over the Group's report "Europe can do more" on best practice in Member States to implement EU legislation in the least burdensome way.

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said: "I congratulate the Group under the chairmanship of Dr. Edmund Stoiber for this excellent report. It shows impressive examples how Member States implement EU law in an intelligent way so that its positive effects can unfold and are not hampered by unnecessary administrative burden at national level. I call on Member States to look at these examples and learn from them. Through mutual inspiration on smart regulation we can further improve the business environment and support growth and jobs in Europe."

The Commission requested the best practice report in August 2010. The report lists 74 best practice examples – including initiatives on e-government, on intelligent solutions in particular for small businesses, direct stakeholder involvement, good guidance and cross-border initiatives.

It shows that there is ample scope for improving the implementation of EU legislation. Since almost a third of the administrative burdens on businesses deriving from EU legislation stem from inefficient national implementation of EU requirements, reducing such burdensome implementation is vital to improving the life of businesses and to boosting the EU's economy and its competitiveness.

The report also includes a checklist with recommendations and invites readers to comment.


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 European Commission has made good progress in implementing the Action Programme. The Commission has already proposed measures that reduce administrative burdens by up to 33 % or more than EUR 40 bn. Out of this, Council and Parliament have so far adopted measures amounting to a reduction of 22 %.

With the recent agreement on measures reducing accounting red tape for more than 5 million small companies the total reduction figure received a further boost towards achieving the target of reducing administrative burdens by 25 % by 2012.

The High Level Group on Administrative Burdens, chaired by Dr. Edmund Stoiber, advises and assists the Commission on the implementation of the Action Programme for Reducing Administrative Burdens in the EU since 2008.

For more information:

Where does the EU stand on administrative burden reduction? Read MEMO/12/116

Read the full report

Read the brochure with selected examples

Provide feedback on the report to

Visit the Commission's website on smart regulation

Visit the High Level Group's website

Contacts :

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen (+32 2 295 30 70)

Jens Mester (+32 2 296 39 73)

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