Member-State additions to EU laws complicate life for SMEs

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Parliament's Industry Committee adopts EPP Group Resolution on reducing bureaucracy for SMEs

"It is often Member-State additions to EU laws which make life difficult for SMEs", explained EPP Group MEP Paul Rübig after yesterday's vote in Parliament's Industry Committee on the Resolution he drafted on reducing bureaucracy for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). "When the EU endorses a Directive and then each Member State implements it differently or adds additional tighter rules, unnecessary hurdles are being imposed on companies with cross-border activities", said Rübig.

We need the courage to quash law proposals, if the impact assessment comes to the conclusion that this is necessary. Paul Rübig MEP

The Resolution emphasises that the European Commission's initiative to change the ‘Top Ten’ laws which cause too much bureaucracy cannot make up for "an overall approach to red tape-free legislation", said Rübig. "The 'Top Ten' initiative is good and exemplary, but not sufficient." Rübig calls for more impact assessments, public consultations and ex-post evaluations when drafting new laws. "We need the courage to quash law proposals if the impact assessment comes to the conclusion that this is necessary", he stressed.

"In particular, environmental and waste management law must be combed through. For many years I fought for leaving soil protection in the competency of the Member States. It was only eight years later that the European Commission admitted that the EU Directive on soil protection did not reach its goals", said Rübig. He recognises that some of the EU’s initiatives to simplify laws and to reduce red tape have been fruitful. "Nobody is questioning the 'Think Small First Principle' and the 'SME Test' of new laws. But they must be applied with more consistency", he stressed.


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The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 275 Members from 27 Member States.

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