EU leaders push to reduce SME legislation burden

15th of April 2013
EU leaders push to reduce SME legislation burden

A European Commission initiative to tackle the 10 most burdensome regulations for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has received backing from EU heads of state and governments.

It had asked some 1,000 SMEs and business organisations to identify the top 10 most burdensome EU laws in order to change or reduce them.

EU leaders have now told the Commission to set out in June how it wants to reduce the burdens for SMEs. By the autumn the EU executive will produce a list of unnecessary European rules that need to be reversed.

The following EU laws have been identified by SMEs as the 10 most burdensome:

• REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals)

• VAT - Value added tax legislation

• General product safety and market surveillance package

• Recognition of professional qualifications

• Shipments of waste - waste framework legislation - list of waste and hazardous waste

• Labour market related legislation

• Data protection

• Working time

• Recording equipment in road transport (for driving and rest periods)

• Procedures for the award of public contracts (public works, supply and service contracts)

• Modernised customs code.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said "smart regulation" would help European businesses to grow and create jobs.

"This is why we have put smart regulation at the heart of our policymaking. And this is why we want to ease the lives of our small- and medium-sized enterprises, which are most important engines for Europe's economy."


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