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BETTER LEGISLATION : ECOFIN IN LINE WITH COMPETITIVENESS COUNCIL.

EU finance and economy ministers are expected,aon 27 February, to adopt conclusions on reducing administrative costs(1), which correspond to those ratified by the Competitiveness Council. Emphasising that "a significant reduction" in administrative costs should allow businesses to "raise their productivity levels," the EcoFin intends to invite heads of state and government to lend their "full support" to the European Commission's project to reduce the administrative burden resulting from European legislation by 25% by 2012.

In response to concerns expressed by certain ministers about the prospect of imposing uniform targets on member states (see Europolitics 3251), the EcoFin has invited the member states to commit to reducing administrative burdens and to set their own ambitious national targets by 2008, "taking into account different starting positions and regulatory traditions". The member states are also invited to collaborate closely with the Commission.

The Council's conclusions also reply to concerns in certain member states that the better legislation' policy is just a pretext for the Commission to propose less legislation. The Council, therefore, stresses that "the reduction of administrative burdens needs to safeguard the political aims of the legislation in the priority areas, taking into account its benefits," and that "the reduction of administrative burdens aims at improving regulation to encourage competition, competitiveness and productivity".

And, finally, the Council will validate the EU Standard Cost Model proposed by the Commission to establish a priority action programme.

(1) The draft conclusions are available at www.europolitics.info => subscribers => advanced search => reference = 73258

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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Feb 23, 2007
Words:249
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