EU laws to become 'lighter, simpler and less costly'

The commission's regulatory fitness and performance programme (Refit) includes many new initiatives, plus the introduction of an 'annual scoreboard' to assess their progress.

By Kayleigh Rose Lewis

18 Jun 2014

European commission president José Manuel Barroso, said, "The commission is extending its smart regulation agenda. Refit is important for economic growth and jobs in Europe.

"We want to facilitate the lives of our citizens and businesses by focusing EU law on those issues that are best dealt with at European level, while making it lighter, simpler and less costly."

Actions announced by the commission include updating the mapping and screening exercise of the EU's legislative stock and initiatives for simplification and burden reduction.

"We are making good progress, but results do not come over night" - José Manuel Barroso

The communications also allows repeals of legislation in energy labelling, transport rates and conditions, the common agricultural policy, and standardised reporting in the area of environment.

In addition, Refit aims to withdraw proposals that do not advance in the legislative process, screen its planning agenda and only retain the most essential items and launch several new evaluations and fitness checks.

Barroso noted, "We are making good progress, but results do not come over night.

"Success demands continued efforts, clear political priorities and ownership by all EU institutions and in particular the member states,"

"It is crucially important to continue this work in the next legislature", urged the Portuguese official.

Syed Kamall, who was recently elected as leader of parliament's ECR group, responded to the proposals, saying, "Too often EU law has been introduced with noble intentions but every time we act there are unintended consequences, especially when legislating for a diverse continent.

"We will continue to work so that the EU is constantly asking how it can deliver better legislation that tackles future challenges" - Syed Kamall

"The commission is correct to start focusing attention on areas where EU law should be repealed or reformed.

"As we look towards making the EU fit for the 2050s, we need a culture change from the 1950s vision that every problem can only be solved by EU legislation. Legislation should be a conduit for enabling people and businesses, not a barrier holding them back," the British deputy explained.

He went on, "Much of this programme to cut red tape has been led by the hard work of ECR MEPs, and we have argued that EU-wide maternity leave proposals had the right aims, but would lead to more inflexibility for women.

"We will continue to work so that the EU is constantly asking how it can deliver better legislation that tackles future challenges, rather than knee-jerk red tape that produces detrimental unintended consequences," concluded Kamall.

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