Red tape for EU businesses was reduced by €32.3 bln a year, in the past five years, after measures initiated by the European Commission, Commission President José Manuel Barroso said on Thursday.
Barroso discussed ways of boosting growth and jobs with the High Level Group on Administrative Burdens, chaired by Dr Edmund Stoiber, the former Minister-President of Bavaria.
“Within the past five years, the Commission has initiated measures that reduce red tape for EU businesses by up to €32.3 bln a year. We need to cooperate closely with member states to ensure that these savings bring real relief to businesses,” Barroso said.
He added that in early October, the Commission will present the next steps for making EU legislation fit for purpose and reducing the burden for companies, in particular, SMEs.
“These efforts are essential to put Europe back on track and generate more growth and more jobs” he noted.
Stoiber expressed satisfaction with the Commission's initiative on administrative burden reduction and said that “it is a considerable success that the ambitious reduction target of 25% has been exceeded, reaching 26.1%”.
During the meeting, Barroso also pointed to the successful completion of the EU Action Programme for reducing administrative burdens, and thanked the group for its support.
Measures adopted by the European Parliament and the Council include the switch to a fully electronic VAT invoicing system and reducing the number of companies that need to provide data for intra-EU trade statistics.
The latest initiative, adopted in June this year, further simplifies accounting rules for small companies, with maximum 50 employees, with an estimated annual saving of about €1.5 bln.
Stoiber urged the Council to follow the example of the Commission underlining that while the European Parliament is building up an impact assessment unit, there is no such bureaucracy-check in the Council.
Furthermore, he criticised member states because some of them lack ambition and do not use the many opportunities to reduce the administrative burden offered by the EU.
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