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EU Action Programme for reducing administrative burdens
Commission Européenne - MEMO/07/25 24/01/2007
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Brussels, 24th January 2007
This Action Programme sets out how the Commission proposes that information obligations should be identified, measured and reduced. The programme will measure administrative costs, take a judgement on which of these costs constitute unnecessary burdens and make proposals to remove them accordingly.
The Action Programme aims at delivering continuous, concrete improvements for businesses throughout the exercise. The Commission will not wait for the completion of this multi-annual measurement before showing results. Therefore, the Action Programme is accompanied by the first package of concrete reduction measures for immediate action. A sample of five of these can be found below:
1) Reduce paperwork regarding export refunds for small farms
The proposal aims at simplifying Commission Regulation (EC) No 800/1999 concerning the documentary proof to be delivered by operators in order to receive export refunds for exporting certain agricultural produce. The proposal will raise the threshold and thereby exempt small farms from these reporting requirements.
2) Reduce Simplify statistics regarding the information society
The proposal will significantly simplify the implementing measures applying Regulation (EC) No 808/2004 concerning Community statistics on the information society. The proposal aims at reducing statistical obligations, by considerably simplifying the questionnaires. As a result businesses will be met with fewer, more targeted questions.
3) Simplify information obligations regarding energy crops
The proposal will simplify Commission Regulation (EC) No 1973/2004 in order to ease the obligations for farmers, collectors and or processors of energy crops. The aim is to reduce the reporting obligation for the operators and make it possible to replace the obligatory lodging of a security by the operators by another system offering equivalent assurance for the good financial control of the system.
4) Remove obligations for written reports on mergers and divisions
The proposal will simplify Council Directives 78/855/EEC and 82/891/EEC by easing requirements for written reports to the stockholders in case of mergers and divisions. The proposal aims at making the reporting requirements voluntary and giving stockholders themselves the opportunity to decide whether the written reports should be drawn up in a national merger or division. Thereby companies would be free not to draw up the reports unless shareholders explicitly ask for them.
5) Remove outdated transport statistics
This proposal aims at simplifying Regulation No 11 concerning the abolition of discrimination in transport rates and conditions, in implementation of Article 79 (3) of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community. The proposal will remove certain obligations to provide information on tariffs, agreements, price deals and transport. The proposal will remove outdated requirements for documentation on a series of issues when transporting goods from one member state to another. The Regulation in case dates back to the time when transporters could not cross borders as freely as today (1960), however, this change should update the requirement to present conditions.
1. The complete list of immediate actions
The planned items for immediate action attached to this package are estimated to reduce the administrative burdens on businesses by approximately 1.3 bn Euro on an annual basis.
2. Priority areas
The Commission's measurement exercise will commence in summer 2007 to be
completed by end of 2008. It will cover the following priority areas:
2. Pharmaceutical legislation
3. Working environment/ employment relations
4. Tax law/VAT
6. Agriculture and agricultural subsidies
7. Food Safety
10. Financial services
12. Cohesion policy
13. Public procurement
3. Methodology and organisation
The Action Programme is based in the Standard Cost Model (SCM) methodology which is being applied by a growing number of Member States and the OECD. The methodology entails a detailed mapping of information obligations included in the selected legislation, as well as in-depth interviews with businesses affected by the rules. The key idea is to put a price tag on each information obligation showing the time and money businesses across Europe spend filling in forms, submitting information etc.
certain information obligation requires 100.000 European businesses to spend 2
hours 4 times a year filling in a certain form, submitting and storing it, and
the employees earn 20 euro per hour, the total cost of this obligation would be
The measurement itself will be outsourced in order to optimise resources and
allow a fresh look at things. Meanwhile, the Commission will work in close
cooperation with Member States governments and all relevant stakeholders to make
sure that the programme succeeds. Of course, the measurement is not a goal in
itself. Contrarily, the aim is to use the results of the measurement to
continuously deliver proposals for reducing unnecessary administrative burdens
See also see Memo MEMO/06/425
 The EU SCM is presented in Annex 10 of the Commission’s Impact Assessment Guidelines, SEC (2005) 791. The SCM rests on the following equation: Cost per administrative activity = Price x Time x Quantity (population x frequency).