MEPs want less red tape for small businesses

11.07.2012 - 15:46

Small businesses across Europe should be free from burdensome legislation unless proved beneficial by the European Commission, Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim said And a committee of MEPs supported this proposal.

“Our smallest businesses are the lifeblood of our economy,” Karim said. “They should spend every hour working to build their businesses. Instead they spend far too much time untangling the web legislation that entangles them every day.”

Karim is drafting a report that sets out several actions the EU must take to ensure that future legislation is proportionate and encourages decision-making to be taken at the lowest possible level. The Better Lawmaking report calls for the burden of proof to be switched when legislating for businesses that have fewer than ten employees and turnover of less than €2 million per year.

This proposal would mean that the Commission would have to exempt small businesses from red tape, unless it can prove the benefits of including them. Karim warned that his call for exemptions for small businesses shouldn’t be at the expense of legislation for medium-sized businesses. Karim said all legislation should instead be tailored according to the “Think Small First” principle.

“This report sets out a number of ways the European Commission can ensure it proposes legislation that is proportionate, and it calls for better assessment on the impact that new laws could have on businesses,” Karim said.

The report also supports efforts to increase transparency in the process whereby national governments transpose European law into national law. The report also calls for national parliaments to play a role in the legislative process.

The Parliament’s legal affairs committee adopted the report on 10 July. It will now go to a vote in the full Parliament.