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Parliamentary questions
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4 January 2019
Answer given by First Vice-President Timmermans on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-005328/2018

The Commission carries out impact assessments to identify the most effective and efficient policy responses. All Commission impact assessments assess potential benefits, cost savings and simplification and quantify them, wherever possible. Revisions of existing EC laws also assess opportunities to simplify and reduce unnecessary costs. Explanatory memoranda provide information on these processes.

The Commission has nevertheless limited influence over the amendments introduced in the legislative process by the European Parliament and by the Council, which undertake very few assessments of their substantial amendments(1). These amendments might affect the Commission proposals' objective to simplify and to reduce unnecessary burdens.

The amount of regulatory burden resulting by Member States adding to EU rules cannot be estimated. The Commission has put in place an IT tool to allow Member States to report such measures in national legislation but to date only two Member States have made notifications.

Point 43 of the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016(2) foresees that when, in the context of transposing Directives into national law, Member States choose to add elements that are in no way related to that Union legislation, such additions should be made identifiable through the transposing act(s) or through associated documents.

Every year, the Commission presents an annual burden survey of the Union's efforts to simplify legislation and reduce unnecessary costs. This includes results achieved under the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT), which seeks to identify opportunities for simplification and reducing unnecessary costs when the Commission proposes to revise existing EC laws.

The initiatives that result from this work are included each year in the Commission's work programme and can be monitored in the REFIT Scoreboard(3).

(1)Commission Communication on the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality: Strengthening their role in the EU’s policymaking, COM(2018)703 final.
(2)OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.

Last updated: 7 January 2019Legal notice