First Vice-President Frans Timmermans:
The Commission is committed to ensuring that EU legislation achieves its objectives and avoids unnecessary costs, both when it proposes legislation and when it revises it. This goal is a shared responsibility between the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council (when the co-legislators amend and adopt legislation) and the Member States (when transposing and implementing it).
Despite continuous efforts to ensure EU legislation is as efficient as possible, the lessons of implementation and the experiences of citizens, businesses and Member States indicate that this is not always the case. The costs imposed by legislation may not be fully necessary to achieve the objectives or the legislation in placer may no longer be up to date.
The Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) COM (2012) 746 provides a response to these issues. Over the last year, REFIT has been fully mainstreamed in the decision-making process. Whenever evaluating or revising existing law, the Commission now systematically seeks to identify any opportunity for burden reduction while safeguarding policy objectives. Each legislative revision presents an objective for burden reduction, when relevant, for the European Parliament and the Council to take account of in the legislative process and for Member States to refer to when implementing legislation. Such objectives are quantified whenever possible in impact assessments and information is systematically presented in the Commission´s explanatory memoranda accompanying proposals. REFIT proposals are monitored throughout their lifecycle through the REFIT scoreboard.
Under the current Commission, REFIT has delivered more than 150 new initiatives focussed simplifying legislation. In carrying out this work, the Commission benefits from the insights of the REFIT Platform.
In line with the engagement taken in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making, the Commission presents annually a survey of the Union's efforts undertaken to simplify legislation, avoid overregulation and reduce regulatory burdens in an Annual Burden survey.