Small and medium businesses recognised in Europe's Better Regulation plans
Posted, January 28, 2009 @ 16:00
European Commission has made some progress, but has much further to go
Brussels, 28th January 2009 -- The disproportionate effect of regulation on small businesses has finally been recognised today by the European Commission, which has said it will subject future laws to an 'SME test'.
Conservative Internal Market spokesman, Malcolm Harbour MEP, has welcomed the commitment - a long standing demand of Conservative MEPs - which means that the European Commission will have to consider the specific effect of legislation on small companies. The commission has also agreed to coordinate commencement dates for new regulations, thus helping them to plan and cope with the necessary changes.
In its progress report on Better Regulation, the commission has noted that 1,300 acts or 7800 pages of the EU's Official Journal have been proposed for removal. While this is a start, Mr Harbour has called on the commission to step up a gear.
"The European Commission has taken notice of the demands of Conservative MEPs and small businesses. Regulation can have a vastly disproportionate effect on the small businesses which drive our economy. Too often, European laws have actually benefitted larger companies because they drive entrepreneurial competitors out of business.
"Better regulation is important, but we also need to ensure the rate of laws is slowed down too. Stronger impact assessments are right to consider the effect laws can have on small businesses, but they should also have to make the case for European legislation, rather than leaving the matter to national governments.
"We note that the commission is now committed to examining "EU value added". MEPs must also use this test to justify their ideas."