Simplifying and improving the EU regulatory environment will be top of the German presidency’s agenda, in hopes of saving business billions of euro.
Administrative burdens imposed by government (applications, forms, statistics) amount to around 3.5% of EU GDP, meaning that a 25% cut could produce a €150 billion boost to the European economy, according to Commission estimates.
The issue is particularly important for Germany, which, according to OECD and World Bank assessments, has one of the most bureaucratic regimes in the world. Administrative burdens are currently thought to cost the German economy between €46 billion and €80 billion annually, according to the Think tank of Deutsche Bank Group.
To tackle this problem, the German Presidency will be promoting the introduction of a uniform method – “Standard Cost Model” – for measuring the costs of existing and new regulations, based on the ambitious Dutch Model, where administrative costs have already been slashed by 25%.
The Chancellor will also attempt to get agreement from all member states on setting a target of reducing administrative burdens by 25%. However, a number of member states are reluctant to commit to the target, claiming that the measurement model is in itself much too costly.
Chancellor Merkel will also examine the possibility of introducing the concept of “discontinuity” in the legislative process, so that legislative proposals would become subject to an “expiry date” every five years, when the Commission’s and the Parliament’s terms end. Any law projects that have not passed the institutions by that time would have to be reconsidered from scratch.