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Minister Virant: Better Regulation Among the Key Priorities of the EU

Minister of Public Administration Dr Gregor Virant ponted out at today's session of the Competitiveness Council in Brussels that »better regulation remains one of the key priorities for the European Union«. Slovenia set as its goal to transform the procedures of a better drafting of regulations, including the elaboration of assessment of the impact of regulations, the programme of reducing administrative costs, and the programme of simplifying the legislative environment, into tangible outputs. Better drafting of regulations namely increases the competitiveness of the EU economy and simplifies the operation of small and micro companies.

Today, the ministers in charge of competitiveness, industrial policy and the internal market were having a meeting in Brussels. In the first part of the afternoon session, chaired by Minister Virant, the ministers discussed the drafting of better legislation in the EU. They analysed the »Second strategic report on better regulation in the EU« adopted by the European Commission in January 2008. In the context of the report, conclusions on drafting better regulation were discussed. These regulate in details especially the assessment of impacts of regulations, while the sphere of reducing administrative barriers and the simplification of legislation were more thoroughly analysed in the Key Issues paper which served as a basis for the conclusions of the European spring Council in March. The report shows that the focus has shifted from the establishment of the said processes for implementing the better legislation initiatives towards reaching the set goals of better legislation in terms of creating real economic benefits and supporting the improvement of business competitiveness. An improved legislative environment in the European Union, both at the Community level and at the level of the Member States, is a key element for providing sustainable growth and employments.

As Minister Virant stressed at the meeting, the »Slovenian presidency devoted major attention to removing administrative barriers and simplification of legislation, aimed at increasing the competitiveness of European companies, while ensuring an easier application and a more efficient European legislation«. In this context, the Slovenian Presidency puts a lot of effort in assuring that the new legislative proposals at the EU level include an in-depth assessment of the impacts of the Commission regulations; it strives for a priority treatment of the 2nd package of fast-track measures and proposals for simplifying the legislation, which enables the removal of administrative barriers for business and citizens, and creating a higher quality of legislative framework aimed at promoting competitiveness of the European economy. As regards the sphere of »better regulation«, the May Competitiveness Council offered an opportunity for discussion and the conclusions on the importance of better legislation in the context of the Lisbon strategy reforms. Within the improved Lisbon strategy, the goal of the EU is to simplify and improve the existing legislation, to improve drafting of new legislation and enhance trust and efficiency of rules in line with the EU principle of proportionality. Before the meeting, the ministers organised a business lunch with Dr Edmund Stoiber, Chair of the High-level Group of Independent Experts on Administrative Burdens, adviser to the European Commission. He presented the role of the Group, and particularly, how it can assist the Commission in reaching its goal of reducing administrative burdens by 25 % until 2012.


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Date: 30.05.2008