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José Manuel Dur ã o Barroso
P resident of the European Commission
Introductory Statement at the press point with Edmund Stoiber, Chair of the High-Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens
VIP Corner of President Barroso and Vice President Verheugen with Mr. Edmund Stoiber, Chair of the High-Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens
Brussels, 18 September 2009
Today, Vice President Verheugen and I met with Edmund Stoiber, who - as you all know - chairs the High Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens that advises the Commission since 2007.
Mr. Stoiber handed over to us the second report of his group, adopted yesterday.
I strongly welcome this report because it reflects how much progress in reducing administrative burden can be achieved when the Commission joins forces with stakeholders.
I want to personally thank Edmund Stoiber and all members of his group for their important contribution to our joint achievements.
We will continue to have a very close look at the recommendations, since our ambitious project of getting rid of all unnecessary administrative burdens in the EU is not yet completed.
One important merit of the high-level group is that it has raised the profile of administrative burden reduction across the Union. Moreover this group helped the Commission services to verify the feasibility of reduction possibilities identified by my services as well as by other stakeholders, and via its opinions the group has given us always very helpful guidance.
Vice President Verheugen and myself are very satisfied with the progress already made in reducing administrative burdens.
We have been ambitious and serious. In less than 3 years the Commission has put forward ambitious proposals, that - once adopted - will reduce red tape stemming from EU legislation by 25%. We have lived up to our commitment. The proposals already put forward by the Commission amount to total savings for our businesses of 40 billion Euro per year, which is an important boost for the recovery. Therefore I urge Council and Parliament to quickly adopt all proposals made, to further free more than 30 billion Euro. I expect them to show the same commitment as the Commission is showing.
And we continue to attach a high political priority to reducing administrative burdens and driving forward smart regulation. Indeed, I will make smart regulation a "Leitmotif" . I have decided that in the new Commission the better regulation services, notably those in charge of reducing administrative burdens, will act under my direct authority, together with impact assessment and ex-post evaluation. And I will make sure that all our new initiatives are inspired by these principles of smart regulation.
Let me conclude by saying that I am very pleased that the high level group will continue its important work for another two years.
Having said this, I am even more pleased that Edmund Stoiber has accepted to prolong his personal engagement for the same period of time as its chair.
We will look at ways of enhancing our ambition. I believe the quality of our legislation in the European Union is critically important for the success of our economy.
Thank you very much.