BETA


2014/2150(INI) Regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT): state of play and outlook

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead JURI KAUFMANN Sylvia-Yvonne (icon: S&D S&D) NIEBLER Angelika (icon: PPE PPE), KARIM Sajjad (icon: ECR ECR), MARINHO E PINTO António (icon: ALDE ALDE), MAŠTÁLKA Jiří (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), HAUTALA Heidi (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), FERRARA Laura (icon: EFDD EFDD)
Committee Opinion ECON
Committee Opinion EMPL MCINTYRE Anthea (icon: ECR ECR) Rina Ronja KARI (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Jean LAMBERT (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE)
Committee Opinion ENVI LA VIA Giovanni (icon: PPE PPE) Marco AFFRONTE (icon: EFDD EFDD), Nicola CAPUTO (icon: S&D S&D), Julie GIRLING (icon: ECR ECR), Gesine MEISSNER (icon: ALDE ALDE)
Committee Opinion IMCO KARAS Othmar (icon: PPE PPE) Vicky FORD (icon: ECR ECR), Dennis de JONG (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Jens NILSSON (icon: S&D S&D)
Committee Opinion TRAN
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2016/09/20
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2016/04/12
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2016/04/12
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 537 votes to 94, with 80 abstentions, a resolution on Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT): state of play and outlook.

Better regulation : Parliament approved the package of measures of 19 May 2015 aimed at better regulation and supported the continued commitment shown by the Commission to the better law-making agenda. They noted the Commission’s commitment to negotiate a new Interinstitutional agreement on better law-making. According to Members, the work foreseen in the REFIT Communication should be seen as an ongoing process, ensuring that the legislation in force at European level is fit for purpose, achieves the shared objective of the legislators and meets the expectations of citizens, in particular employees, businesses, and other stakeholders.

Parliament made the following recommendations:

· the Commission should prioritise the development of certain measures and should focus on the quality of legislation and better enforcement of existing legislation rather than on the number of legislative acts;

· the REFIT programme must not be used to undermine sustainability or any social, labour, environmental or consumer standards;

· better regulation should simplify legislation, and should include the implementation and application of Union acts at European level, as well as at national, regional and local level, in order to ensure good administration and ‘Europe-friendly conduct’ at all levels;

· the Commission should introduce “ sunset clauses ” in time-limited legislative initiatives, on condition that this does not lead to legal uncertainty, and include if appropriate “ review clauses ” in legislative measures;

· the choice between implementing acts and delegated acts caused numerous Interinstitutional disputes, it is important for specific guidelines to be drawn up.

Transparency and stakeholder consultations : Parliament welcomed the Commission’s intention of making the legislative process more transparent and its affirmation that dialogue with citizens, the social partners and stakeholders must contribute to the process . The Commission was asked to conduct a balanced and transparent assessment of the positions of, and feedback from, all participants in the consultation procedure.

The resolution also welcomed the Commission’s decision in future to conduct four-week public consultation exercises on draft delegated acts and major implementing acts before Member States voted on their position in the committee responsible.

Members took the view that the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions could contribute to the purposes of better legislation if they were properly consulted on specific issues sufficiently well in advance.

Impact assessments and European added value : whilst noting that impact assessments constituted an important tool for supporting decision-making, Parliament called on the Commission and Member States to be more rigorous in fulfilling their commitments and in assessing the impact of future and existing legislation. It underlined, however, that such assessments were not a substitute for political assessments and decisions and that the freedom of Members of the European Parliament to carry out their political work must not be restricted in any way.

Members considered that:

· a competitiveness assessment should form a significant part of the impact assessment process;

· better regulation principles should apply to decisions on secondary legislation as well as primary legislation; the Commission, where appropriate, should accompany delegated and implementing acts with an impact assessment;

· impact assessments must be comprehensive, and contain a balanced evaluation of economic, social and environmental consequences , as well as an assessment of the impact on the fundamental rights of citizens and equality between women and men.

Parliament took note of the conversion of the Commission’s Impact Assessment Board (IAB) into an independent ‘Regulatory Scrutiny Board’ (RSB) and expected that the inclusion of independent experts will have an advantageous effect on the impact assessment process within the Commission. It insisted that the Regulatory Scrutiny Board has only an exclusively advisory role and must not issue binding opinions.

Parliament’s specialist committees were asked to make more consistent use of in-house impact assessment instrument.

SMEs and Think Small First : Parliament welcomed the Commission's commitment to give consideration to more flexible rules for SMEs, including an outright exemption for microbusinesses, provided it was appropriate and feasible. It called on the Commission: (i) not to abandon its ambitious targets of reducing the administrative burden on SMEs and (ii) ensure that objectives concerning the public interest including user-friendly, ecological, social, health and safety and gender-equality standards were not compromised.

The reduction of administrative burdens must not lead to a reduction in employment standards or an increase in precarious employment contracts.

Ex-post evaluations : the resolution:

underscored the importance of ex-post assessment and policy performance appraisal for an evaluation of the implementation and efficiency of EU legislation and EU policies in the light of the legislative authority's intended outcomes ; encouraged the Commission and the Member States to intensify the exchange of best practices in the implementation and application of EU directives, Notes that, one third of the regulatory and administrative burden of EU legislation follows from transposition measures undertaken by the Member States.

Withdrawal of pending legislative proposals : Parliament pointed out that the Court of Justice affirmed in its judgment of 14 April 2015 that the Commission might at any time in the course of the adoption of a Union act under the ordinary legislative procedure withdraw a proposal as long as the Council had not acted. It called on the Commission, in the event of withdrawal, to first consult Parliament , especially after the first reading, and to duly take into account its position.

Documents
2016/04/12
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2016/04/11
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2015/06/24
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Details

The Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Sylvia-Yvonne KAUFMANN (S&D, DE) on Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT): state of play and outlook.

Better regulation : whilst noting the decision of Commission President Juncker to entrust the First Vice-President of the Commission with the portfolio of better regulation, Members underlined that the Commission should prioritise the development of certain measures and should focus on the quality of legislation and better enforcement of existing legislation rather than on the number of legislative acts.

The REFIT programme must not be used to undermine sustainability or any social, labour, environmental or consumer standards.

Better regulation should simplify legislation, and should include the implementation and application of Union acts at European level, as well as at national, regional and local level, in order to ensure good administration and ‘Europe-friendly conduct’ at all levels.

The report suggested that the Commission took the introduction of “ sunset clauses ” into consideration in time-limited legislative initiatives, on condition that this did not lead to legal uncertainty, and include if appropriate “ review clauses ” in legislative measures.

Members welcomed the package of measures of 19 May 2015 aimed at better regulation and supported the continued commitment shown by the Commission to the better law-making agenda. They noted the Commission’s commitment to negotiate a new Interinstitutional agreement on better law-making.

Pointing out that during the previous parliamentary term, the choice between implementing acts and delegated acts caused numerous Interinstitutional disputes, Members considered it important for specific guidelines to be drawn up.

Transparency and stakeholder consultations : Members welcomed the Commission’s intention of making the legislative process more transparent and its affirmation that dialogue with citizens, the social partners and stakeholders must contribute to the process . The Commission was asked to conduct a balanced and transparent assessment of the positions of, and feedback from, all participants in the consultation procedure.

The report also welcomed the Commission’s decision in future to conduct four-week public consultation exercises on draft delegated acts and major implementing acts before Member States voted on their position in the committee responsible.

Members took the view that the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions could contribute to the purposes of better legislation if they were properly consulted on specific issues sufficiently well in advance.

Impact assessments and European added value : whilst noting that impact assessments constituted an important tool for supporting decision-making, Members called on the Commission and Member States to be more rigorous in fulfilling their commitments and in assessing the impact of future and existing legislation. They underlined, however, that such assessments were not a substitute for political assessments and decisions and that the freedom of Members of the European Parliament to carry out their political work must not be restricted in any way.

Members considered that:

a competitivenes s assessment should form a significant part of the impact assessment process; better regulation principles should apply to decisions on secondary legislation as well as primary legislation; the Commission, where appropriate, should accompany delegated and implementing acts with an impact assessment; impact assessments must be comprehensive, and contain a balanced evaluation of economic, social and environmental consequences, as well as an assessment of the impact on the fundamental rights of citizens and equality between women and men.

Parliament’s specialist committees were asked to make more consistent use of in-house impact assessment instrument.

SMEs and Think Small First : Members welcomed the Commission's commitment to give consideration to more flexible rules for SMEs, including an outright exemption for microbusinesses, provided it was appropriate and feasible. They called on the Commission: (i) not to abandon its ambitious targets of reducing the administrative burden on SMEs and (ii) ensure that objectives concerning the public interest including user-friendly, ecological, social, health and safety and gender-equality standards were not compromised.

The reduction of administrative burdens must not lead to a reduction in employment standards or an increase in precarious employment contracts

Ex-post evaluations : the report:

underscored the importance of ex-post assessment and policy performance appraisal for an evaluation of the implementation and efficiency of EU legislation and EU policies in the light of the legislative authority's intended outcomes; encouraged the Commission and the Member States to intensify the exchange of best practices in the implementation and application of EU directives, Notes that, one third of the regulatory and administrative burden of EU legislation follows from transposition measures undertaken by the Member States.

Withdrawal of pending legislative proposals : the report pointed out that the Court of Justice affirmed in its judgment of 14 April 2015 that the Commission might at any time in the course of the adoption of a Union act under the ordinary legislative procedure withdraw a proposal as long as the Council had not acted. It called on the Commission, in the event of withdrawal, to first consult Parliament , especially after the first reading, and to duly take into account its position.

Documents
2015/06/16
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2015/05/29
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2015/05/26
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2015/03/30
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2015/03/23
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2015/03/18
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2014/12/04
   CSL - Debate in Council
Documents
2014/12/04
   CSL - Council Meeting
2014/11/24
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2014/11/10
   EP - KAUFMANN Sylvia-Yvonne (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2014/10/22
   DE_BUNDESRAT - Contribution
Documents
2014/10/22
   EP - MCINTYRE Anthea (ECR) appointed as rapporteur in EMPL
2014/09/24
   EP - LA VIA Giovanni (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in ENVI
2014/07/17
   EP - KARAS Othmar (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in IMCO
2014/06/18
   EC - Non-legislative basic document published
Details

PURPOSE: to report state of play in implementing the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) programme and identifies new actions.

BACKGROUND: the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) aims to offer a simple, clear and predictable regulatory framework for business workers and citizens. It seeks to cut red tape, remove regulatory burdens, simplify and improve the design and quality of legislation .

Under REFIT, the Commission is screening the entire stock of EU legislation on an ongoing and systematic basis to identify burdens, inconsistencies and ineffective measures and identified corrective actions.

In the October 2013 Communication on REFIT, the Commission set out an ambitious agenda. It identified areas where initiatives foreseen would not be taken forward. It withdrew a number of proposals that had been long blocked in the legislature and repealed a number of pieces of legislation. In total, over 100 actions were identified, half of which were new proposals aimed to simplify and reduce regulatory burden in existing legislation.

CONTENT: following on from its October 2013 Communication, the present Communication reports on the state of play in implementing the REFIT programme and identifies new actions . It indicates how the Commission is further strengthening its horizontal regulatory tools – impact assessment, evaluation and stakeholder consultations. It also looks at how EU institutions, Member States and stakeholders in business and civil society are playing their part in exercising this shared responsibility for Regulatory Fitness.

Future REFIT initiatives : the Commission considers that new initiatives for simplification and burden reduction are warranted in several areas. These initiatives include the simplification of EU legislation on identity and travel documents, the development of a new comprehensive architecture for business statistics, the extension of the one-stop shop in the area of VAT to all business to consumer supplies together with the development of an EU VAT Web portal to inform businesses about national and EU VAT rules and the codification of legislation on third country listings for visa requirements.

The Commission will prepare repeals of legislation in further areas: (i) energy labelling, (ii) transport rates and conditions, (iii) the Common Agricultural Policy; (iv) standardized reporting in the area of environment. In addition, the Commission is also screening the acquis in respect of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters to identify acts which could be repealed in the context of the expiry of the transitional period set out in the Treaties.

A close scrutiny of all pending proposals before the legislator has resulted in the identification of further proposals which are either outdated or without support by the legislator and should therefore be suggested for withdrawal . These include proposals on investor compensation schemes, aviation security charges, pregnant workers, a compensation fund for oil pollution damage and exempting micro companies from certain food hygiene provisions, even though the latter would have brought significant benefits for smaller businesses.

In other key areas where wider policy reviews are in preparation such as the Digital Single Market , it will be important to identify the remaining barriers and assess the regulatory framework for costs and simplification potential.

The Commission considers that a continued effort is needed at EU, Member State and stakeholder levels to further facilitate the implementation of legislation on chemicals , notably REACH, and to reflect on specific areas where rules can be simplified and burdens reduced.

Horizontal actions : the Commission is determined to further strengthen its horizontal regulatory tools – impact assessment, evaluation and stakeholder consultations and other horizontal actions, notably by putting more emphasis on the assessment of costs and benefits of regulation and the reduction of administrative obligations, such as reporting requirements .

Conclusions drawn from the experience : the Commission has drawn several lessons can be drawn from the experience in implementing REFIT thus far.

(1) smart regulation and regulatory fitness require a firm political commitment and related adjustment of policies and processes at all levels - within the Commission, between the European institutions and within the Member States;

(2) there is a need for scrutiny of the regulatory processes. The Impact Assessment Board has provided an essential quality control function;

(3) experience shows that quantification – looking at costs and benefits - is a necessary part of regulatory assessment;

(4) transition costs of legislative changes have to be carefully weighed against the costs of inaction;

(5) the detection of unnecessary burden and cost by those directly affected by legislation can be an important complement to quantitative assessment. Consultation and debate are therefore essential in this regard.

Taking these observations into account, and looking to the future, the Commission will continue to give priority to and keep up the momentum on regulatory fitness . It will continue to focus on areas of significant EU value added respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

The Commission will continue to work closely with Parliament and Council to ensure that benefits in simplification and burden reduction are confirmed in the legislative process. It invites input, data and evidence from social partners and stakeholders on the state of play and outlook on REFIT presented in this Communication.

Documents

Activities

Votes

A8-0208/2015 - Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann - Résolution

2016/04/12 Outcome: +: 537, -: 94, 0: 80
DE PL IT FR RO ES GB BG CZ HU PT SK BE AT NL HR FI DK LT LV SI MT SE CY EL LU IE EE
Total
94
50
66
73
30
48
65
16
20
20
21
12
21
17
26
11
13
11
10
8
8
5
18
6
20
6
10
5
icon: PPE PPE
205

Belgium PPE

Against (1)

4

Finland PPE

Abstain (1)

3

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1
2

Cyprus PPE

1

Luxembourg PPE

Abstain (1)

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
183

Bulgaria S&D

Abstain (1)

4

Belgium S&D

4

Netherlands S&D

3

Croatia S&D

2

Latvia S&D

1

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
72

Italy ECR

2

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Bulgaria ECR

2

Czechia ECR

2

Netherlands ECR

2

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1
2

Lithuania ECR

1

Latvia ECR

For (1)

1

Cyprus ECR

1

Greece ECR

Abstain (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
65

Romania ALDE

2

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Croatia ALDE

2

Denmark ALDE

2

Latvia ALDE

1

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

2
icon: NI NI
15

Germany NI

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Poland NI

1

Italy NI

For (1)

1

France NI

3

United Kingdom NI

For (1)

1

Hungary NI

Abstain (1)

3
icon: ENF ENF
37

Germany ENF

For (1)

1
2

United Kingdom ENF

Against (1)

1

Belgium ENF

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands ENF

4
icon: EFDD EFDD
37

Germany EFDD

1

Poland EFDD

1

France EFDD

1

Czechia EFDD

Against (1)

1

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1

Sweden EFDD

2
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
49

Italy GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Portugal GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

4

Netherlands GUE/NGL

Against (1)

3

Finland GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2

Ireland GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

4
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
47
3

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

5

Hungary Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Croatia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1
4

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1
AmendmentsDossier
554 2014/2150(INI)
2014/12/11 IMCO 69 amendments...
source: 544.339
2015/02/05 ENVI 81 amendments...
source: 549.141
2015/03/30 EMPL 161 amendments...
source: 552.109
2015/05/27 EMPL 243 amendments...
source: 554.995

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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  • body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: Competitiveness (Internal Market, Industry, Research and Space) meeting_id: 3353 url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=3353*&MEET_DATE=04/12/2014 date: 2014-12-04T00:00:00
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  • date: 2015-03-18T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE541.631&secondRef=02 title: PE541.631 committee: IMCO type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2015-03-23T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE551.792 title: PE551.792 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2015-03-30T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE546.616&secondRef=02 title: PE546.616 committee: ENVI type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2015-05-26T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE554.972 title: PE554.972 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2015-05-29T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE549.312&secondRef=02 title: PE549.312 committee: EMPL type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2016-09-20T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=25925&j=0&l=en title: SP(2016)484 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
  • date: 2014-10-22T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2014)0368 title: COM(2014)0368 type: Contribution body: DE_BUNDESRAT
events
  • date: 2014-06-18T00:00:00 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2014&nu_doc=0368 title: EUR-Lex title: COM(2014)0368 summary: PURPOSE: to report state of play in implementing the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) programme and identifies new actions. BACKGROUND: the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) aims to offer a simple, clear and predictable regulatory framework for business workers and citizens. It seeks to cut red tape, remove regulatory burdens, simplify and improve the design and quality of legislation . Under REFIT, the Commission is screening the entire stock of EU legislation on an ongoing and systematic basis to identify burdens, inconsistencies and ineffective measures and identified corrective actions. In the October 2013 Communication on REFIT, the Commission set out an ambitious agenda. It identified areas where initiatives foreseen would not be taken forward. It withdrew a number of proposals that had been long blocked in the legislature and repealed a number of pieces of legislation. In total, over 100 actions were identified, half of which were new proposals aimed to simplify and reduce regulatory burden in existing legislation. CONTENT: following on from its October 2013 Communication, the present Communication reports on the state of play in implementing the REFIT programme and identifies new actions . It indicates how the Commission is further strengthening its horizontal regulatory tools – impact assessment, evaluation and stakeholder consultations. It also looks at how EU institutions, Member States and stakeholders in business and civil society are playing their part in exercising this shared responsibility for Regulatory Fitness. Future REFIT initiatives : the Commission considers that new initiatives for simplification and burden reduction are warranted in several areas. These initiatives include the simplification of EU legislation on identity and travel documents, the development of a new comprehensive architecture for business statistics, the extension of the one-stop shop in the area of VAT to all business to consumer supplies together with the development of an EU VAT Web portal to inform businesses about national and EU VAT rules and the codification of legislation on third country listings for visa requirements. The Commission will prepare repeals of legislation in further areas: (i) energy labelling, (ii) transport rates and conditions, (iii) the Common Agricultural Policy; (iv) standardized reporting in the area of environment. In addition, the Commission is also screening the acquis in respect of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters to identify acts which could be repealed in the context of the expiry of the transitional period set out in the Treaties. A close scrutiny of all pending proposals before the legislator has resulted in the identification of further proposals which are either outdated or without support by the legislator and should therefore be suggested for withdrawal . These include proposals on investor compensation schemes, aviation security charges, pregnant workers, a compensation fund for oil pollution damage and exempting micro companies from certain food hygiene provisions, even though the latter would have brought significant benefits for smaller businesses. In other key areas where wider policy reviews are in preparation such as the Digital Single Market , it will be important to identify the remaining barriers and assess the regulatory framework for costs and simplification potential. The Commission considers that a continued effort is needed at EU, Member State and stakeholder levels to further facilitate the implementation of legislation on chemicals , notably REACH, and to reflect on specific areas where rules can be simplified and burdens reduced. Horizontal actions : the Commission is determined to further strengthen its horizontal regulatory tools – impact assessment, evaluation and stakeholder consultations and other horizontal actions, notably by putting more emphasis on the assessment of costs and benefits of regulation and the reduction of administrative obligations, such as reporting requirements . Conclusions drawn from the experience : the Commission has drawn several lessons can be drawn from the experience in implementing REFIT thus far. (1) smart regulation and regulatory fitness require a firm political commitment and related adjustment of policies and processes at all levels - within the Commission, between the European institutions and within the Member States; (2) there is a need for scrutiny of the regulatory processes. The Impact Assessment Board has provided an essential quality control function; (3) experience shows that quantification – looking at costs and benefits - is a necessary part of regulatory assessment; (4) transition costs of legislative changes have to be carefully weighed against the costs of inaction; (5) the detection of unnecessary burden and cost by those directly affected by legislation can be an important complement to quantitative assessment. Consultation and debate are therefore essential in this regard. Taking these observations into account, and looking to the future, the Commission will continue to give priority to and keep up the momentum on regulatory fitness . It will continue to focus on areas of significant EU value added respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. The Commission will continue to work closely with Parliament and Council to ensure that benefits in simplification and burden reduction are confirmed in the legislative process. It invites input, data and evidence from social partners and stakeholders on the state of play and outlook on REFIT presented in this Communication.
  • date: 2014-11-24T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2014-12-04T00:00:00 type: Debate in Council body: CSL docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=3353*&MEET_DATE=04/12/2014 title: 3353
  • date: 2015-06-16T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2015-06-24T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2015-0208&language=EN title: A8-0208/2015 summary: The Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Sylvia-Yvonne KAUFMANN (S&D, DE) on Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT): state of play and outlook. Better regulation : whilst noting the decision of Commission President Juncker to entrust the First Vice-President of the Commission with the portfolio of better regulation, Members underlined that the Commission should prioritise the development of certain measures and should focus on the quality of legislation and better enforcement of existing legislation rather than on the number of legislative acts. The REFIT programme must not be used to undermine sustainability or any social, labour, environmental or consumer standards. Better regulation should simplify legislation, and should include the implementation and application of Union acts at European level, as well as at national, regional and local level, in order to ensure good administration and ‘Europe-friendly conduct’ at all levels. The report suggested that the Commission took the introduction of “ sunset clauses ” into consideration in time-limited legislative initiatives, on condition that this did not lead to legal uncertainty, and include if appropriate “ review clauses ” in legislative measures. Members welcomed the package of measures of 19 May 2015 aimed at better regulation and supported the continued commitment shown by the Commission to the better law-making agenda. They noted the Commission’s commitment to negotiate a new Interinstitutional agreement on better law-making. Pointing out that during the previous parliamentary term, the choice between implementing acts and delegated acts caused numerous Interinstitutional disputes, Members considered it important for specific guidelines to be drawn up. Transparency and stakeholder consultations : Members welcomed the Commission’s intention of making the legislative process more transparent and its affirmation that dialogue with citizens, the social partners and stakeholders must contribute to the process . The Commission was asked to conduct a balanced and transparent assessment of the positions of, and feedback from, all participants in the consultation procedure. The report also welcomed the Commission’s decision in future to conduct four-week public consultation exercises on draft delegated acts and major implementing acts before Member States voted on their position in the committee responsible. Members took the view that the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions could contribute to the purposes of better legislation if they were properly consulted on specific issues sufficiently well in advance. Impact assessments and European added value : whilst noting that impact assessments constituted an important tool for supporting decision-making, Members called on the Commission and Member States to be more rigorous in fulfilling their commitments and in assessing the impact of future and existing legislation. They underlined, however, that such assessments were not a substitute for political assessments and decisions and that the freedom of Members of the European Parliament to carry out their political work must not be restricted in any way. Members considered that: a competitivenes s assessment should form a significant part of the impact assessment process; better regulation principles should apply to decisions on secondary legislation as well as primary legislation; the Commission, where appropriate, should accompany delegated and implementing acts with an impact assessment; impact assessments must be comprehensive, and contain a balanced evaluation of economic, social and environmental consequences, as well as an assessment of the impact on the fundamental rights of citizens and equality between women and men. Parliament’s specialist committees were asked to make more consistent use of in-house impact assessment instrument. SMEs and Think Small First : Members welcomed the Commission's commitment to give consideration to more flexible rules for SMEs, including an outright exemption for microbusinesses, provided it was appropriate and feasible. They called on the Commission: (i) not to abandon its ambitious targets of reducing the administrative burden on SMEs and (ii) ensure that objectives concerning the public interest including user-friendly, ecological, social, health and safety and gender-equality standards were not compromised. The reduction of administrative burdens must not lead to a reduction in employment standards or an increase in precarious employment contracts Ex-post evaluations : the report: underscored the importance of ex-post assessment and policy performance appraisal for an evaluation of the implementation and efficiency of EU legislation and EU policies in the light of the legislative authority's intended outcomes; encouraged the Commission and the Member States to intensify the exchange of best practices in the implementation and application of EU directives, Notes that, one third of the regulatory and administrative burden of EU legislation follows from transposition measures undertaken by the Member States. Withdrawal of pending legislative proposals : the report pointed out that the Court of Justice affirmed in its judgment of 14 April 2015 that the Commission might at any time in the course of the adoption of a Union act under the ordinary legislative procedure withdraw a proposal as long as the Council had not acted. It called on the Commission, in the event of withdrawal, to first consult Parliament , especially after the first reading, and to duly take into account its position.
  • date: 2016-04-11T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20160411&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2016-04-12T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=25925&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2016-04-12T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2016-0104 title: T8-0104/2016 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 537 votes to 94, with 80 abstentions, a resolution on Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT): state of play and outlook. Better regulation : Parliament approved the package of measures of 19 May 2015 aimed at better regulation and supported the continued commitment shown by the Commission to the better law-making agenda. They noted the Commission’s commitment to negotiate a new Interinstitutional agreement on better law-making. According to Members, the work foreseen in the REFIT Communication should be seen as an ongoing process, ensuring that the legislation in force at European level is fit for purpose, achieves the shared objective of the legislators and meets the expectations of citizens, in particular employees, businesses, and other stakeholders. Parliament made the following recommendations: · the Commission should prioritise the development of certain measures and should focus on the quality of legislation and better enforcement of existing legislation rather than on the number of legislative acts; · the REFIT programme must not be used to undermine sustainability or any social, labour, environmental or consumer standards; · better regulation should simplify legislation, and should include the implementation and application of Union acts at European level, as well as at national, regional and local level, in order to ensure good administration and ‘Europe-friendly conduct’ at all levels; · the Commission should introduce “ sunset clauses ” in time-limited legislative initiatives, on condition that this does not lead to legal uncertainty, and include if appropriate “ review clauses ” in legislative measures; · the choice between implementing acts and delegated acts caused numerous Interinstitutional disputes, it is important for specific guidelines to be drawn up. Transparency and stakeholder consultations : Parliament welcomed the Commission’s intention of making the legislative process more transparent and its affirmation that dialogue with citizens, the social partners and stakeholders must contribute to the process . The Commission was asked to conduct a balanced and transparent assessment of the positions of, and feedback from, all participants in the consultation procedure. The resolution also welcomed the Commission’s decision in future to conduct four-week public consultation exercises on draft delegated acts and major implementing acts before Member States voted on their position in the committee responsible. Members took the view that the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions could contribute to the purposes of better legislation if they were properly consulted on specific issues sufficiently well in advance. Impact assessments and European added value : whilst noting that impact assessments constituted an important tool for supporting decision-making, Parliament called on the Commission and Member States to be more rigorous in fulfilling their commitments and in assessing the impact of future and existing legislation. It underlined, however, that such assessments were not a substitute for political assessments and decisions and that the freedom of Members of the European Parliament to carry out their political work must not be restricted in any way. Members considered that: · a competitiveness assessment should form a significant part of the impact assessment process; · better regulation principles should apply to decisions on secondary legislation as well as primary legislation; the Commission, where appropriate, should accompany delegated and implementing acts with an impact assessment; · impact assessments must be comprehensive, and contain a balanced evaluation of economic, social and environmental consequences , as well as an assessment of the impact on the fundamental rights of citizens and equality between women and men. Parliament took note of the conversion of the Commission’s Impact Assessment Board (IAB) into an independent ‘Regulatory Scrutiny Board’ (RSB) and expected that the inclusion of independent experts will have an advantageous effect on the impact assessment process within the Commission. It insisted that the Regulatory Scrutiny Board has only an exclusively advisory role and must not issue binding opinions. Parliament’s specialist committees were asked to make more consistent use of in-house impact assessment instrument. SMEs and Think Small First : Parliament welcomed the Commission's commitment to give consideration to more flexible rules for SMEs, including an outright exemption for microbusinesses, provided it was appropriate and feasible. It called on the Commission: (i) not to abandon its ambitious targets of reducing the administrative burden on SMEs and (ii) ensure that objectives concerning the public interest including user-friendly, ecological, social, health and safety and gender-equality standards were not compromised. The reduction of administrative burdens must not lead to a reduction in employment standards or an increase in precarious employment contracts. Ex-post evaluations : the resolution: underscored the importance of ex-post assessment and policy performance appraisal for an evaluation of the implementation and efficiency of EU legislation and EU policies in the light of the legislative authority's intended outcomes ; encouraged the Commission and the Member States to intensify the exchange of best practices in the implementation and application of EU directives, Notes that, one third of the regulatory and administrative burden of EU legislation follows from transposition measures undertaken by the Member States. Withdrawal of pending legislative proposals : Parliament pointed out that the Court of Justice affirmed in its judgment of 14 April 2015 that the Commission might at any time in the course of the adoption of a Union act under the ordinary legislative procedure withdraw a proposal as long as the Council had not acted. It called on the Commission, in the event of withdrawal, to first consult Parliament , especially after the first reading, and to duly take into account its position.
  • date: 2016-04-12T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
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  • The Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Sylvia-Yvonne KAUFMANN (S&D, DE) on Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT): state of play and outlook.

    Better regulation: whilst noting the decision of Commission President Juncker to entrust the First Vice-President of the Commission with the portfolio of better regulation, Members underlined that the Commission should prioritise the development of certain measures and should focus on the quality of legislation and better enforcement of existing legislation rather than on the number of legislative acts.

    The REFIT programme must not be used to undermine sustainability or any social, labour, environmental or consumer standards.

    Better regulation should simplify legislation, and should include the implementation and application of Union acts at European level, as well as at national, regional and local level, in order to ensure good administration and ‘Europe-friendly conduct’ at all levels.

    The report suggested that the Commission took the introduction of “sunset clauses” into consideration in time-limited legislative initiatives, on condition that this did not lead to legal uncertainty, and include if appropriate “review clauses” in legislative measures.

    Members welcomed the package of measures of 19 May 2015 aimed at better regulation and supported the continued commitment shown by the Commission to the better law-making agenda. They noted the Commission’s commitment to negotiate a new Interinstitutional agreement on better law-making.

    Pointing out that during the previous parliamentary term, the choice between implementing acts and delegated acts caused numerous Interinstitutional disputes, Members considered it important for specific guidelines to be drawn up.

    Transparency and stakeholder consultations: Members welcomed the Commission’s intention of making the legislative process more transparent and its affirmation that dialogue with citizens, the social partners and stakeholders must contribute to the process. The Commission was asked to conduct a balanced and transparent assessment of the positions of, and feedback from, all participants in the consultation procedure.

    The report also welcomed the Commission’s decision in future to conduct four-week public consultation exercises on draft delegated acts and major implementing acts before Member States voted on their position in the committee responsible.

    Members took the view that the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions could contribute to the purposes of better legislation if they were properly consulted on specific issues sufficiently well in advance.

    Impact assessments and European added value: whilst noting that impact assessments constituted an important tool for supporting decision-making, Members called on the Commission and Member States to be more rigorous in fulfilling their commitments and in assessing the impact of future and existing legislation. They underlined, however, that such assessments were not a substitute for political assessments and decisions and that the freedom of Members of the European Parliament to carry out their political work must not be restricted in any way.

    Members considered that:

    • a competitiveness assessment should form a significant part of the impact assessment process; 
    • better regulation principles should apply to decisions on secondary legislation as well as primary legislation; the Commission, where appropriate, should accompany delegated and implementing acts with an impact assessment;
    • impact assessments must be comprehensive, and contain a balanced evaluation of economic, social and environmental consequences, as well as an assessment of the impact on the fundamental rights of citizens and equality between women and men.

    Parliament’s specialist committees were asked to make more consistent use of in-house impact assessment instrument.

    SMEs and Think Small First: Members welcomed the Commission's commitment to give consideration to more flexible rules for SMEs, including an outright exemption for microbusinesses, provided it was appropriate and feasible. They called on the Commission: (i) not to abandon its ambitious targets of reducing the administrative burden on SMEs and (ii) ensure that objectives concerning the public interest including user-friendly, ecological, social, health and safety and gender-equality standards were not compromised.

    The reduction of administrative burdens must not lead to a reduction in employment standards or an increase in precarious employment contracts

    Ex-post evaluations: the report:

    • underscored the importance of ex-post assessment and policy performance appraisal for an evaluation of the implementation and efficiency of EU legislation and EU policies in the light of the legislative authority's intended outcomes;
    • encouraged the Commission and the Member States to intensify the exchange of best practices in the implementation and application of EU directives, Notes that, one third of the regulatory and administrative burden of EU legislation follows from transposition measures undertaken by the Member States.

    Withdrawal of pending legislative proposals: the report pointed out that the Court of Justice affirmed in its judgment of 14 April 2015 that the Commission might at any time in the course of the adoption of a Union act under the ordinary legislative procedure withdraw a proposal as long as the Council had not acted. It called on the Commission, in the event of withdrawal, to first consult Parliament, especially after the first reading, and to duly take into account its position.

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GUE/NGL
name
MAŠTÁLKA Jiří
committees/4/shadows/4
group
Verts/ALE
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HAUTALA Heidi
committees/4/shadows/5
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EFD
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FERRARA Laura
activities/2/docs
  • url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=3353*&MEET_DATE=04/12/2014 type: Debate in Council title: 3353
activities/3/date
Old
2015-07-06T00:00:00
New
2015-09-07T00:00:00
activities/2/docs
  • url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=3353*&MEET_DATE=04/12/2014 type: Debate in Council title: 3353
activities/2/docs
  • url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=3353*&MEET_DATE=04/12/2014 type: Debate in Council title: 3353
activities/0/docs/0/celexid
CELEX:52014DC0368:EN
activities/0/docs/0/celexid
CELEX:52014DC0368:EN
activities/3/date
Old
2015-05-18T00:00:00
New
2015-07-06T00:00:00
activities/0/commission/0/DG/title
Old
Secretariat General
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Secretariat-General
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Secretariat General
New
Secretariat-General
activities/3
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2015-05-18T00:00:00
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EP
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Indicative plenary sitting date, 1st reading/single reading
activities/0/docs/0/text
  • PURPOSE: to report state of play in implementing the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) programme and identifies new actions.

    BACKGROUND: the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) aims to offer a simple, clear and predictable regulatory framework for business workers and citizens. It seeks to cut red tape, remove regulatory burdens, simplify and improve the design and quality of legislation.

    Under REFIT, the Commission is screening the entire stock of EU legislation on an ongoing and systematic basis to identify burdens, inconsistencies and ineffective measures and identified corrective actions.

    In the October 2013 Communication on REFIT, the Commission set out an ambitious agenda. It identified areas where initiatives foreseen would not be taken forward. It withdrew a number of proposals that had been long blocked in the legislature and repealed a number of pieces of legislation. In total, over 100 actions were identified, half of which were new proposals aimed to simplify and reduce regulatory burden in existing legislation.

    CONTENT: following on from its October 2013 Communication, the present Communication reports on the state of play in implementing the REFIT programme and identifies new actions. It indicates how the Commission is further strengthening its horizontal regulatory tools – impact assessment, evaluation and stakeholder consultations. It also looks at how EU institutions, Member States and stakeholders in business and civil society are playing their part in exercising this shared responsibility for Regulatory Fitness.

    Future REFIT initiatives: the Commission considers that new initiatives for simplification and burden reduction are warranted in several areas. These initiatives include the simplification of EU legislation on identity and travel documents, the development of a new comprehensive architecture for business statistics, the extension of the one-stop shop in the area of VAT to all business to consumer supplies together with the development of an EU VAT Web portal to inform businesses about national and EU VAT rules and the codification of legislation on third country listings for visa requirements.

    The Commission will prepare repeals of legislation in further areas: (i) energy labelling, (ii) transport rates and conditions, (iii) the Common Agricultural Policy; (iv) standardized reporting in the area of environment. In addition, the Commission is also screening the acquis in respect of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters to identify acts which could be repealed in the context of the expiry of the transitional period set out in the Treaties.

    A close scrutiny of all pending proposals before the legislator has resulted in the identification of further proposals which are either outdated or without support by the legislator and should therefore be suggested for withdrawal. These include proposals on investor compensation schemes, aviation security charges, pregnant workers, a compensation fund for oil pollution damage and exempting micro companies from certain food hygiene provisions, even though the latter would have brought significant benefits for smaller businesses.

    In other key areas where wider policy reviews are in preparation such as the Digital Single Market, it will be important to identify the remaining barriers and assess the regulatory framework for costs and simplification potential.

    The Commission considers that a continued effort is needed at EU, Member State and stakeholder levels to further facilitate the implementation of legislation on chemicals, notably REACH, and to reflect on specific areas where rules can be simplified and burdens reduced.

    Horizontal actions: the Commission is determined to further strengthen its horizontal regulatory tools – impact assessment, evaluation and stakeholder consultations and other horizontal actions, notably by putting more emphasis on the assessment of costs and benefits of regulation and the reduction of administrative obligations, such as reporting requirements.

    Conclusions drawn from the experience: the Commission has drawn several lessons can be drawn from the experience in implementing REFIT thus far.

    (1) smart regulation and regulatory fitness require a firm political commitment and related adjustment of policies and processes at all levels - within the Commission, between the European institutions and within the Member States;

    (2) there is a need for scrutiny of the regulatory processes. The Impact Assessment Board has provided an essential quality control function;

    (3) experience shows that quantification – looking at costs and benefits - is a necessary part of regulatory assessment;

    (4) transition costs of legislative changes have to be carefully weighed against the costs of inaction;

    (5) the detection of unnecessary burden and cost by those directly affected by legislation can be an important complement to quantitative assessment. Consultation and debate are therefore essential in this regard.

    Taking these observations into account, and looking to the future, the Commission will continue to give priority to and keep up the momentum on regulatory fitness. It will continue to focus on areas of significant EU value added respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

    The Commission will continue to work closely with Parliament and Council to ensure that benefits in simplification and burden reduction are confirmed in the legislative process. It invites input, data and evidence from social partners and stakeholders on the state of play and outlook on REFIT presented in this Communication.

activities/0/commission/0
DG
Commissioner
TIMMERMANS Frans
other/0
body
EC
dg
commissioner
TIMMERMANS Frans
activities/1/committees/4/shadows/2
group
ALDE
name
MARINHO E PINTO António
committees/4/shadows/2
group
ALDE
name
MARINHO E PINTO António
activities/2
body
CSL
meeting_id
3353
docs
url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=3353*&MEET_DATE=04/12/2014 type: Debate in Council title: 3353
council
Competitiveness (Internal Market, Industry, Research and Space)
date
2014-12-04T00:00:00
type
Council Meeting
activities/1
date
2014-11-24T00:00:00
body
EP
type
Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
committees
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
JURI/8/01740
procedure/stage_reached
Old
Preparatory phase in Parliament
New
Awaiting committee decision
activities
  • date: 2014-06-18T00:00:00 docs: url: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2014&nu_doc=0368 celexid: CELEX:52014DC0368:EN type: Non-legislative basic document published title: COM(2014)0368 body: EC type: Non-legislative basic document published commission:
committees
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Economic and Monetary Affairs committee: ECON
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: EMPL date: 2014-10-22T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: ECR name: MCINTYRE Anthea
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: ENVI date: 2014-09-24T00:00:00 committee_full: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety rapporteur: group: EPP name: LA VIA Giovanni
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: IMCO date: 2014-07-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection rapporteur: group: EPP name: KARAS Othmar
  • body: EP shadows: group: EPP name: NIEBLER Angelika group: ECR name: KARIM Sajjad responsible: True committee: JURI date: 2014-11-10T00:00:00 committee_full: Legal Affairs rapporteur: group: S&D name: KAUFMANN Sylvia-Yvonne
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Transport and Tourism committee: TRAN
links
other
    procedure
    reference
    2014/2150(INI)
    title
    Regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT): state of play and outlook
    legal_basis
    Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
    stage_reached
    Preparatory phase in Parliament
    subtype
    Initiative
    type
    INI - Own-initiative procedure
    subject
    8.50.02 Legislative simplification, coordination, codification