AECM newsletter January 2012
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Commission tables report to reduce regulatory burden for small businesses

News - 23/11/2011 - Brussels

On 23rd November, the Commission tabled a report on “minimizing regulatory burden for SMEs – Adapting EU Regulation to the needs of micro-enterprises”. The aim of the report is to outline how the Commission intends to take its “think small first” principle (which means designing legislation with the smallest of stakeholders in mind) a step further. Already under the Small Business Act and the Single Market Act, the Commission has undertaken action to exempt small businesses from unnecessary legal requirements.

Now, the Commission intends to continue this path with the following actions:

Continued screening of existing EU legislation with a view of applying the “think small first” principle

  • Application of partial or temporary exemptions from legislative requirements or extended transition periods for SMEs
  • Tailor-made legislation for SMEs, where requirements should not be the same for the largest and the smallest companies
  • Strengthening the application of the SME test especially for micro enterprises. From January 2012 on, the Commission will work on the premise that “microenterprises should be excluded from the scope of proposed legislation, unless the proportionality of their being covered can be demonstrated”.
  • An action plan to involve SMEs better in the law-making process. The Commission will set up SME panel consultations, in order to ensure more regular and direct input from small businesses in the legislative process. There will also be dedicated conferences, a web-page and the involvement of the national SME envoys to better take into account SME interests and issues.


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