27 Nov 2015 11:44am

EU-wide call for red tape reduction targets

Business secretary Sajid Javid has joined 26 other government ministers from 19 EU member states in signing a letter calling for EU red tape reduction targets in particularly burdensome areas

The group argues that the EU regulatory system is holding back the Union from securing long term economic growth because it does not allow member states to compete on a level playing field globally.

“Our regulatory system needs to be fit for the 21st century,” they say. “This means better and simpler regulation.

“Unnecessary burdens in EU legislation must be removed while always taking into account proper protection of consumers, health, the environment, employees and financial market stability and respecting existing protection standards.”

In the letter, which is addressed to Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commission (EC), ahead of next Monday’s Competitiveness Council meeting, the group welcomes the work that the EC has already initiated, including the better regulation package launched in May this year.

But the ministers point out that nothing has been done to establish reduction targets, even though these have proved to be successful at national level.

“The introduction of such burden reduction targets would mark a major step forward in our approach to smarter regulation. This would of course be fully in accordance with the principles of the single market.

“The effects would be clearly experienced by our businesses and economies and would impact on the way the EU is perceived by our citizens.

“The Union must concentrate its action on areas where it makes a real difference; it should refrain from taking action when member states can better achieve the same objectives.”

The signatories include finance, foreign and business ministers from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden as well as the UK.

Julia Irvine


Related articles

Cutting red tape

Red tape bonfire will not ignite without fuel of tax simplification

SMEs urge government to cut red tape

European red tape "barrier" to trade