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Document 31996Y0801(03)

Council Resolution of 8 July 1996 on legislative and administrative simplification in the field of the internal market

OJ C 224, 1.8.1996, p. 5–6 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

In force


Council Resolution of 8 July 1996 on legislative and administrative simplification in the field of the internal market

Official Journal C 224 , 01/08/1996 P. 0005 - 0006


of 8 July 1996

on legislative and administrative simplification in the field of the internal market

(96/C 224/03)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,

Having regard to the declaration on the implementation of Community law annexed to the Final Act of the Treaty on European Union,

Having regard to the conclusions of the Cannes European Council on 26 and 27 June 1995,

Having regard to the report from the group of independent experts on legislative and administrative simplification (Molitor Group) of 21 May 1995 and the Commission's comments on that report,

Having regard to the Commission report to the European Council entitled 'Better law-making - Report on the application of subsidiarity and proportionality principles, on simplification and codification`,

Having regard to the Commission communication to the Council and to the European Parliament on 'Simpler legislation for the internal market (SLIM): a pilot project`;

Whereas one of the main priorities of the European Union is to promote growth and employment; whereas, against a background of increased economic competition, that objective presupposes in particular that measures be taken to enable enterprises to improve their competitiveness and to create a positive effect on employment;

Whereas legislation on the internal market has made possible the creation of a large economic area without internal frontiers, constituting a powerful factor for the stimulation and liberalization of the European economy and employment, which it is vital to preserve;

Whereas the achievement of the internal market in itself leads to simplification, either because it replaces a series of national rules by one Community rule or through the principle of mutual recognition;

Whereas legislative and administrative simplification aimed at eliminating the excessive and unjustified costs which constitute a barrier to the competitiveness of undertakings is nevertheless an important task for the institutions of the European Union, the Governments of the Member States and European economic circles;

Whereas the objective of simplification must preserve the acquis communautaire and the pursuit of Community harmonization in the sectors concerned where necessary and in particular the requirements of health protection, safety, fair trading, environmental protection, worker protection and consumer protection contained in those rules;

Whereas, moreover, legislation on the internal market must, in the interest of economic operators and citizens, be made more accessible and easier to understand, in particular by improving the quality of that legislation through consolidation and by more consistent and comprehensible texts; whereas initiatives are already under way concerning the simplification and consolidation of existing legislation with the aim of reducing, where necessary, the number of legislative provisions by applying the principle of proportionality;

Whereas any future legislative initiative, both at national and Community level, should take into account the needs and constraints of enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);

Whereas, moreover, a special need for simplification of existing legislation has been identified in certain sectors; whereas concrete initiatives should therefore be taken in this regard so as to lighten the administrative burden for enterprises;

Whereas over-complicated national legislation may also impede the proper functioning of the internal market and whereas a commensurate effort to simplify legislation should be made at national level in order to avoid the appearance of fresh obstacles to trade which would have the effect of recompartmentalizing the internal market,


NOTES the preparation by the Commission of general guidelines to direct the exercise of its own power of initiative with the aim of improving the quality of the new legislative proposals having regard to their likely impact on the economic or professional circles involved;

EMPHASIZES the need to ensure the effective transposition of new legislation at national level, and to take into account, throughout the legislative process, the need to ensure the overall consistency of legislation in a given sector;

INVITES the Commission to prepare analysis criteria, drawing on the experiences and information communicated by all the Member States and in association with the latter;

DRAWS ATTENTION TO the need to avoid excessively detailed requirements in general and to have recourse to them only when it is strictly necessary for the smooth operation of the internal market, in accordance with the EC Treaty;


NOTES the progress already made in consolidation and other methods of simplification, commits itself to continue at a faster pace examination of proposals for consolidation already submitted by the Commission and INVITES the Commission to submit, as soon as possible, the further proposals already announced;

EMPHASIZES, in common with the Commission, that these measures should, moreover, be backed up by concrete actions aimed at promoting the objectives of transparency, proportionality and consistency of legislation;

AGREES with the Commission that one of the first of these actions should be the launching of a pilot project in a limited number of sectors inter alia to explore, through legislative and administrative simplification, ways of reducing constraints and the formalities which enterprises have to comply with as a consequence of such legislation; also agrees that this project could serve as a test for wider action covering other sectors;

To this end, TAKES FAVOURABLE NOTE of the Commission's initiative of setting up, in four sectors, working parties composed of recognized experts, selected in a transparent and balanced way, with the task of identifying ways to simplify the applicable legislation;

NOTES the Commission's choice of the sectors concerned, i.e. the statistical collection system (Intrastat), the ornamental plants sector, building products and the mutual recognition of diplomas;

ACKNOWLEDGES that this initiative stems from a concern to ensure that initial results are achieved with regard to simplification in the short term;


INVITES the Member States:

(a) to promote a movement towards the simplification and lightening of administrative formalities concerning future national legislation while paying particular attention to the difficulties encountered by SMEs by virtue of their very structure;

(b) to support, through their participation, the proceedings of the working parties responsible for the pilot project, including aspects relating to national legislation;

(c) to examine possibilities of simplifying national legislation having an impact on the internal market and of easing the formalities bound up with that legislation, while paying particular attention to the difficulties encountered by SMEs;

(d) to carry out within the Advisory Committee for coordination in the internal market field, set up by Commission Decision 93/72/EEC (1), an exchange of information on actions carried out or envisaged in the field of legislative and administrative simplification at national level as regards both existing and future legislation,

INVITES the Commission:

(a) to provide full and regular information on the progress made by the working parties responsible for the pilot project in the Member States, via the committees dealing with Community legislation and the Advisory Committee for coordination in the internal market field;

(b) to submit to the Council for November 1996 a report containing the conclusions of the pilot project mentioned in (a):

- making practical suggestions as to how legislation can be simplified in the four sectors concerned,

- evaluating the effectiveness of the methodology; and

(c) after consultation with the Advisory Committee for coordination in the internal market field, to indicate as early as possibile in 1997 how this project could subsequently be extended to other sectors.

(1) OJ No L 26, 3. 2. 1993, p. 18.