This report, commissioned by RegWatchEurope, looks at the feasibility of a Commission’s initiative aimed at adopting reduction targets for regulatory costs. Such target must be intended as “net”, since it should take into account the regulatory costs that are removed, and also the ones that are added to the stock through the adoption of new rules. The report is not aimed at questioning the importance of regulatory benefits as a central objective of EU policymaking, but rather at ensuring that such benefits are achieved at the minimum possible cost for businesses and citizens.
We conclude in favour of a comprehensive approach to cost reduction at the EU level. However, this option might not be feasible in the short term. A possible way forward is to first start on a small scale and then expand to the most comprehensive and impactful option. This is why this report proposes an incremental path towards the optimal solution, which implies that the Commission builds capacity over time on the quantification of substantive compliance costs, and then scales up the programme to the whole relevant EU acquis. This way tangible results can be ensured for all entrepreneurs dealing with EU legislation, in all sectors. This Study proposes as an option three main phases (with a total of 11 steps, described in more detail in the main text of the Study) in what is envisaged as a feasible, sustainable path toward developing a strong cost reduction framework in the European Commission. These phases and steps are designed and presented as the “most feasible” (not the “simplest”).