Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions
Extracts from Executive Summary:
“This Communication takes forward the Commission’s Better Regulation initiative from June 2002 and, in so doing, fulfils the commitment made in its Action Plan to launch initiatives for a policy concerning the Community’s existing body of law.
“At its heart is the objective of securing a reliable, up-to-date and user-friendly body of EC Law to the benefit of citizens, workers and businesses… Although citizens and operators are mainly faced with legislation for which the Member States are responsible, the Community must set a good example…
“The Commission’s Better Regulation Initiative of June 2002 aims at ensuring that better regulation is pursued in the daily legislative work of the Community…
The present Communication, and its proposed Framework for Action, delivers such a policy. With full political support, it will deliver:
- The removal of “dead wood” – legal texts that are obsolete and outdated – leading to considerable reduction in volume of the Community acquis without changing the legal status
- Rewriting legal texts to render them more coherent and understandable, again without changing the legal status Improving the presentation of the Community acquis and developing more user-friendly access to consult and use Community law
- The beginning of a long-term process of gradual modernisation and simplification of existing legislation and policies – not to deregulate or cut back the acquis but to replace past policy approaches with better adapted and proportional regulatory instruments
The Framework defined six objectives:
For the simplification programme (to December 2004), the Commission proposes examples of prioritisation indicators on which, case by case, it will determine its priorities…
To secure an up-to-date, reliable and user-friendly body of EC legislation, requires a series of actions. First, the consolidation of the existing acquis which will be completed by mid-2003 and in future will be carried out automatically whenever existing legislation is amended.
Secondly, the ongoing codification initiative needs to be intensified and prioritised with adapted and fast-track treatment in the Parliament and Council. Thirdly, as a contribution to improve the presentation of the Community acquis and develop more user-friendly access for consulting and making use of Community law, it is proposed to more clearly present the active and generally applicable legislation. This requires removal of obsolete legislation through formal repeal or by the use of other instruments.
However, little will be achieved without transparency of the process and strong political commitment and control, as well as adequate resources – where all institutions need to contribute. For its part, the Commission will undertake a six-monthly review to end-2004 of the progress made within the Framework for Action.
The Commission has proposed a concrete and ambitious plan of action up to the end of 2004. A positive political response is therefore urgently sought from the European Parliament and the European Council.
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