Policy Areas  >  SME Policy  >  Cutting red tape

Cutting red tape

The Commission’s efforts to reduce regulatory burdens started in 2005 and are now part of the smart regulation agenda. Through this, the Commission is trying to make European legislation more effective and suitable to EU citizens and SMEs’ needs. To this end the Commission is carrying out impact assessments, public consultations and screening of legislation with the goal of simplification. 

In this framework, the European Commission launched the Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme in December 2012. Thanks to REFIT, the Commission services map the entire EU legislative stock looking to identify burdens, gaps and inefficient or ineffective measures including possibilities for simplification or repeal.

The REFIT programme is not a one-off initiative, but it will be updated annually to report new measures and suggest simplifications. The EU Commission will publish an annual REFIT scoreboard to trace the legislative progress of all initiatives proposed under REFIT.

The scoreboard will provide a view on whether initiatives for simplifications suggested by the Commission are maintained in the European decision-making process by the Member States and the co-legislators (the Council and the European Parliament). 

SMEs are particularly targeted in this exercise, as the "Think Small First" principle establishes. Therefore EBC very much appreciates this useful exercise and is confident that it will produce positive results. EBC is involved in this process and is working closely with the European Institutions in order to reduce burdens for SMEs.



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