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"One-In-One-Out" for Better Regulation

In September 2019, the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, presented her assignments to the designated Commissioners. These show that transparency, better regulation and bureaucracy reduction will remain key priorities of the EU Commission in the next five years.

The probably most important initiative by the new EU Commission to minimise regulatory burdens for companies is the introduction of the so-called "One-In-One-Out" principle at European level. All Commission services are henceforth obliged to compensate for new burdens arising from EU legislation by reducing existing burdens in the same area. This mechanism already exists in Germany since 2015 in the form of the "bureaucracy brake". However, burdens resulting from EU law or its national implementation by the federal ministries are excluded from the German bureaucracy brake.

In the view of BDI, the introduction of the One-In-One-Out principle at European level is a potentially effective measure to keep the European legal framework lean and cost-efficient. It remains to be seen how the EU Commission will design the principle in concrete terms. Right now, especially the ex-ante calculation of the compliance costs of new EU legal projects appears difficult, because implementation and application of EU law is the responsibility of the Member States. A better cooperation between the EU-Commission and national authorities will therefore be necessary.

As called for by BDI, the new EU Commission wants to continue the Better Regulation Agenda launched under the Juncker Commission in May 2015. If the EU Parliament approves the personnel, Maroš Ševčovič will assume responsibility of this dossier in the EU Commission as Vice President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight.

A central focus of Mr Ševčovič will be the implementation of the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Regulation of 2016. Among other things, this agreement stipulates that the EU institutions should bring about more transparency in their political negotiations. In addition, the Member States have committed themselves to implementing EU law nationally without creating additional burdens (1:1 implementation).

Another focus will be on the correct application and enforcement of EU law by the Member States. In this respect, we hope that the EU Commission will in future take faster and more stringent action in the event of infringements of EU law. This is essential to ensure the proper functioning of the EU Single Market.

Overall, BDI welcomes the fact that better regulation and the reduction of bureaucracy remain a priority for the EU. Ursula von der Leyen's political objectives in this respect point in the right direction. The work program of the EU Commission expected for October 2019 will show how these goals will be implemented in practice in the years to come.