Europe is actively discussing the fitness of EU-level legislation and regulation. Finland has been among the first countries to promote the initiative. Today, Prime Minister Katainen will discuss the issue with Commission President José Manuel Barroso in Brussels. At the same time, senior officials from the European Commission are visiting Helsinki to hear the opinions of the Finnish Parliament, ministries and interest groups on EU regulation.
"We need regulation at EU level, for example, to facilitate trade. Without EU regulation, businesses and consumers would be left to deal with 28 different national laws. However, it is essential that the EU regulate only on issues that are best dealt with at EU level and that regulations are geared towards promoting the economy and employment. We can certainly have some deregulation but the main focus should be on the quality of regulations," said Prime Minister Katainen.
During the ongoing autumn, Prime Minister Katainen has repeatedly drawn attention to the EU's regulatory fitness at the European Councils meeting, bilateral meetings and in the media. In October, the Frankfurter Allgemeine published an article by the Italian and Finnish prime ministers on the issue. In conjunction with the October European Council, Prime Minister Katainen and a small number of other European leaders discussed smart regulation with Prime Minister Cameron and President Barroso. This week, Prime Minister Katainen and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had discussions on the same theme.
"I can see clear signs that discussion on the EU's regulatory fitness is now being taken seriously. Finland has proposed three ways of moving forward. First, we must improve ex-ante evaluation of new legislation. Second, we must have such EU regulation that compels the Member States to repeal unnecessary national laws. Third, we must pay greater attention to local conditions," Katainen says.
The Commission published its communication on the EU's regulatory fitness and performance in October. The communications includes concrete proposals on what the Commission intends to do to reduce regulatory burden on businesses. The EU Heads of State or Government discussed regulatory fitness at their October meeting and the European Council calls on the Commission to make further substantial proposals in this field. The European Council will agree on further steps at its June meeting and return to the issue annually.
Inquiries: Pasi Rajala, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 311 or +358 400 464 393 and Jori Arvonen, State Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 320 or +358 50 553 6117