Flashback: 2014 – EU Commission says it wants to “simplify life for SMEs by easing the top 10 most burdensome EU laws”

EU Parliament

Flashback: 2014 – EU Commission says it wants to “simplify life for SMEs by easing the top 10 most burdensome EU laws”

The 20.8 million European small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) create 85% of all new jobs in Europe, they employ 2/3 of the workforce in the EU and they contribute significantly to innovation and growth. In a broad consultation initiated by the Commission, around 1000 SMEs and business organisations have now identified the top 10 most burdensome EU laws.


The purpose of this broad consultation was to check where EU regulation might be impeding jobs and growth and to identify areas or issues which would require further examination and action where necessary. The result published today indicates that SMEs see the biggest difficulties and costs as a consequence of the rules regarding the REACH chemical legislation, value added tax, product safety, recognition of professional qualifications, data protection, waste legislation, labour market related legislation, recording equipment for road transport, public procurement and the modernised customs code.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, added: “SMEs which are creating the lion’s share of all new jobs in Europe are the key to get out of this crisis. Our legislation needs to be designed with SMEs (and especially new entrepreneurs) in mind: it must be smart, it must be simple and it must be stable. The better we listen to SMEs concerns, the better they can help us to return to growth. “

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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Modernised customs code

Article provided by our friends at europa.eu….. For more information on this and other articles published by the EU visit www.europa.eu.

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