Presidency reports on reduction of administrative burdens
By Sophie Mosca | Wednesday 28 September 2011
The Polish EU Presidency considers that, in today’s economic crisis, reducing the administrative burden would help cut useless costs for enterprises and make them more efficient, thereby adding to the EU’s growth potential. On 29 September, it will present to theCompetitiveness Council a progress report on the reduction of administrative burdens.
The European Council of March 2007 set the objective of achieving a 25% cut in administrative burdens on European enterprises by 2012. This would boost the Union’s GDP by around 1.4% over the medium term. It identified 13 priority areas and 72 legislative texts that could be eased in terms of administrative costs (see table below) to allow savings of more than €38 billion annually.
In July, the reduction stood at 21.9%, leading to savings of more than €27 billion a year. So the EU is moving close to the objective. The reduction has been significant in seven of the 13 priority areas, while progress is still needed in those concerning accounts/company law, the environment, food safety and taxation/customs.
As the table shows, improvement is possible taking into account pending legislation in the areas of company law and taxation.
The report nevertheless states that it is crucial to reduce the share of costs related to ineffective implementation or transposition of EU law. It therefore invites member states to step up their efforts to transpose directives correctly and without delay. The high-level group of independent stakeholders on administrative burdens will draw up a document, in November 2011, identifying member states’ best practices in this respect.
The European capitals must also tackle their national objectives and report on progress in implementing their programmes for reducing administrative burdens. Eight states have published documents describing the actions they have taken but only three have published a final report on the reduction obtained with regard to their objectives.
While the Presidency recognises that the reduction programme has sometimes been perceived as costly and time-consuming, it is still useful and its dynamic must be maintained. It therefore invites the Commission to build on the experience acquired with this measure when developing future initiatives in order to obtain even more tangible results for European enterprises.
The Polish Presidency recommends to the EU institutions and member states to strengthen their cooperation not only on reducing administrative burdens but also on reducing regulatory costs. This wider perspective would make it possible to act on the overall burden on companies in order to continue “to release more potential for economic growth and to improve the labour market,” concludes the report.
The Presidency’s report is available at www.europolitics.info > Search = 300486