Fabian Demicoli

MEUSAC Core Group presented with Commission’s new approach to Better Regulation – GRTU welcomes proposal, insists on effective implementation

The MEUSAC Core Group was this morning presented with the European Commission’s new strategy on better regulation aimed at reviewing the approach adopted by EU legislation and regulations in a bid to shift towards more practical and efficient ends. Regulation needs to be appropriate whilst standards and principles maintained through a balanced approach.

The new Juncker Commission is committed to ensure that the EU, its institutions, and its body of law serve the citizens and businesses and this

 has to be seen in their daily lives and operations. The Commission has set its priorities and in doing so has established that the EU should not expect itself to involve in each and every affair but only to involve itself where it is best deemed fit and appropriate. Policy-making has to open up and involved stakeholders right from concept and drafting stage. Better regulation is not a bureaucratic exercise.

Citizens’ perceptions have shown that 74% of Europeans believe that the EU generates too many regulatory burdens. Therefore the Commission is seeking to adopt more proportionate approaches, limited and focused new initiatives, and ensuring high standards of law-making procedures. This does not mean deregulation but finding ways of achieving the goals more efficiently. The better regulation is based on three key components:

  • Openness and transparency
  • Doing better tools for better policy
  • Refreshing the existing stock of legislation

Malta has welcomed the Better Regulation Package particularly because of more consultation at all stages and accessibility of information. EU policy should be fit for purpose. Strengthening of the independence of the impact assessment processes are also key factors. Particular attention has been given to SMEs.

During the MEUSAC meeting, GRTU representative Matthew Agius expressed that GRTU welcomes this new approach not only at an EU level, but hopes that it is supported through transcending it down to Member States. This is about making the EU more relevant in practice. The proposed strategy focuses a lot on SMEs and small businesses. Matthew Agius stressed that concepts such as Think Small Firstshould not remain just buzzwords but one has to see the actual implementation of key policies such as the Small Business Act.

Such initiatives are about bringing a paradigm shift – rather than putting forward policy and expecting end-users to abide, one has to elicit the needs from the end-users and reflect the realities of micro-businesses and self-employed by understanding how policy impacts them, and then design policy and legislation accordingly. Agius further added that there were initiatives that had been taken even at a national level such as establishing the as the Commissioner for Simplification and Reduction of Administrative Burdens, yet these initiatives needed to be followed up with the necessary resources, autonomy and institutional authority to in effect see results.

GRTU has also been repeatedly calling for efficient and open SME Test initiatives to enable improvement of legislative and management processes even with the EU and public sector to be made based on evidence and facts from the field.  Commitment to better regulation must apply across the board. GRTU welcomes the aims of actions such as REFIT which are intended to review existing legislative issues at EU level and revise in terms of bringing forwarding simplification.

GRTU definitely agrees with and supports the positive concepts being brought forward such as openness, transparency and simplification. However one has to see that effective implementation of better regulation initiatives are undertaken in practice and not remain conceptual goals which are shelved.

 

 

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