‘Better Regulation’ is progress towards EU reforms

The European Union has listened to the United Kingdom before presenting its plans for “Better Regulation”, writes David Cameron, which represents progress towards a leaner, less bureaucratic EU.

We know that EU rules can all too often thwart firms’ best efforts to grow their business and to create new jobs. The UK has not been shy in pushing for the change that is long overdue and we have led the debate in Europe about reducing the burden on business.

That’s why, as part of our long term economic plan, I set up a taskforce of British business leaders in 2013 to look at the kind of reforms that we need to sweep away poorly-understood and ineffective rules and do away with the creep of similarly pointless regulation in the future.

CamronThat taskforce prepared a report, Cut EU Red Tape, which has helped to drive forward real progress in Europe and we’ve worked hard to build consensus in Brussels.

The taskforce has shown its clout in Europe, with 13 of its recommendations already being taken forward by the Commission.

Frans Timmermans, the First Vice President of the European Commission, has outlined how he hopes to take forward measures to stem the flow of the kind of regulation coming out of Europe that puts an unnecessary burden on business.

These are measures we’ve been pushing for and our work is paying off. Mr Timmermans’ report is a significant step in the right direction towards getting the job done and it responds to many of the taskforce’s recommendations.

It brings proposals that will truly reduce the burden of new regulation, particularly those that can bog down the smallest firms. It also calls for more independent scrutiny of proposals, and properly assessment of costs throughout the legislative process.

The Commission has also pledged to look again at existing rules to see if it can find smarter, cheaper and less burdensome ways of regulating.

I am pleased to see key elements of the UK’s better regulation principles, such as better public consultation, improved impact assessments and lighter regimes for small businesses, reflected in the Commission’s proposals.

This is progress on our reform agenda. I said very clearly in my speech on the EU in January 2013 that we need to create a leaner, less bureaucratic Union, relentlessly focused on helping its member countries to compete. And these measures will help to achieve that.

It shows that the European Union does listen to us and that we can achieve success on issues that really matter to UK business.

Now we need to see proposals turned into action and we will keep the pressure up, backing businesses that are creating the jobs that ensure more people have the security of a pay-packet and help the economy grow.

(David Cameron is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)