European Commission asks small businesses for proposals on how to cut red tape

The European Commission (EC) has called on small and medium enterprises to come forward with proposals on how to reduce red tape resulting from European Union law.

“Complaints are often aired about the red tape created by European law. We want to cut red tape. We can cut red tape. However, there is a definite lack of concrete proposals to reduce this burden,” the EC said on October 1 2012.

With this in mind, the EC said that it was calling on businesses: “Let us know what could be done better – we would like your ideas for reducing red tape!” — the leitmotif of a consultation launched by the Commission.

The EC said that the consultation process for SMEs and their representative organisations wouldl help to identify the top 10 EU legislative acts considered most burdensome by micro-companies and SMEs.

It will continue until December 21 2012, and once complete, the EC will analyse the results and consider how situation for SMEs could be improved.

European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: “Very often I am told that the European Commission is too far removed from the daily reality of small businesses. We want to address this gap. Today, we are giving businesses the opportunity to identify those areas and pieces of legislation where we can make a difference.

“I am confident that our enterprises will seize this opportunity, and I am appealing to them to make their views known. Please do not hesitate to let us know where we could eliminate excessive burden,” Tajani said.

The EC said: “Let us know if you think the EU could help SMEs by removing excessive burdens, for example in the following areas:

  • Services: provision of services across borders, recognition of professional qualifications;
  • Customs: customs controls and formalities, classification of goods, custom tariffs;
  • Employment and Social Affairs: co-ordination and transferability of social rights, health and safety at work, organisation of working time, social security schemes, free movement of workers, posting of workers;
  • Energy: energy supply, energy efficiency, renewable energy;
  • Product safety: use of standards, demonstrating conformity in the absence of a harmonised standard, conformity assessment procedures, conformity assessment involving a conformity assessment body, EU declaration of conformity, CE marking rules, information/labelling/traceability obligations, controls / Inspections;
  • Environment: tackling climate change, air quality/pollutants, biotechnology, nature and biodiversity, chemicals, industrial environmental audit, eco-labelling, noise, waste, water;
  • Business environment: public procurement, company law, intellectual and industrial property, data protection;
  • Taxation: VAT, excise duties, other indirect taxes, Direct taxes;
  • Consumer protection: safe shopping, electronic commerce, legal redress and settlement of disputes, food safety, animal and plant health;
  • Transport: transport of goods/ passengers, road transport, maritime / inland waterway transport, combined/ other transport modes.

The EC asked for views to be contributed via the online survey: “Which are the TOP10 EU most burdensome legislative acts for SMEs?” at

(Photo: loleia/




The Sofia Globe staff

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