Red tape: EBC attends European Parliament SME Intergroup breakfast on reducing reporting requirements by 25%

On 23 January, the Intergroup on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the European Parliament held its first breakfast of 2024, dedicated to the issue of “Reducing reporting requirements by 25%: how to get there?”, attended by EBC. During a speech addressed toward the Plenary of the European Parliament in 2023, European Commission President von der Leyen committed to put forward concrete proposals to simplify reporting requirements and in fact to reduce them by 25%, in line with the Commission’s strategy to boost the EU’s long-term competitiveness and to provide relief for SMEs.

Indeed, the target has now been included in the Commission’s Work Program for 2024, presented in October last year. Examples of the simplification proposals include the postponement of the deadline for the adoption of sector-specific European sustainability reporting standards stemming from the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), as well as changes to the scope of application of the Accounting Directive and the Benchmark Regulation. The proposed revision of rules on statistical surveys seeks to reduce costs – including for SMEs – by €450 million.

In this context, the SME Intergroup debated on the need to concretize the work stemming from those commitments in order to deliver on the target of 25%. Introductory remarks were addressed by MEP Martina Dlabajová (Renew Europe, Czechia), Co-Chair of the SME Intergroup. Mr Carsten Schierenbeck, Member of Cabinet of European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and responsible for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight gave the Commission’s perspective. Following a Q&A session on simplification and red tape cuts, MEP Jörgen Warborn (EPP, Sweden) delivered  closing remarks, making the point for a need to significantly improve the situation and reduce the reporting requirements facing EU entrepreneurs, many of which were introduced during the past few years.

Like its fellow SMEunited members, EBC supports the Commission’s ambition to reduce reporting requirements affecting all companies, notably micro entrepreneurs and SMEs, who already struggle with increased regulatory pressure across the EU. In particular when it comes to the CSRD, EBC supports the development of a voluntary reporting standard for SMEs that should be simple, easy to use by micro companies and widely accepted by the construction value chain and financial actors. Reduction of other administrative and reporting burdens impacting or set to impact SMEs in the coming years should also be prioritized during the next legislature.

For more information on the SME Intergroup of the European Parliament, click here