The new frontier of Smart Regulation
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At the Competitiveness Council meeting on 20 February, ministers adopted conclusions on a future smart regulation agenda with a strong end-user focus, following an invitation by the European Council "to further concentrate efforts to reduce the overall regulatory burden".
In December 2011, the European Council endorsed the actions proposed by the Commission to minimise regulatory burdens for SMEs. Heads of state or government also recalled the key priority areas for growth they identified in October 2011; one of them was reduction of the overall regulatory burden for SMEs and microenterprises.
While the Competitiveness Council emphasised that "regulation is necessary for achieving policy goals of the EU", ministers recognised that sometimes unnecessary burdens are imposed on end-users. Ministers in the Council pointed out that a focus on end-users throughout the entire policy-making process "should be a guiding principle in this new effort for smart regulation".
Dedicated conferences, a dedicated webpage and more SME Panel consultations were referred to as means of improving the policy-making process by involving end-users more effectively.
Ministers also stressed that EU institutions and Member States ought to make sure that consolidated texts and legal documents are available and that end-users have access to summaries of legislative proposals drafted in an understandable language.
The Commission was asked to further improve the smart regulation agenda and invited to report on the development and implementation of the effort for smart regulation by the end of 2012.
Conclusions on Smart Regulation (pdf)
Press conference webcast
Smart Regulation (Commission website)