A debate organised by the Malta Business Bureau and the British High Commission focused on the EU’s Better Regulation agenda.
This brought together key business representatives and decision makers to discuss progress and ways of simplifying bureaucracy in the EU, which often impedes the growth of business. The event was part of an ongoing cooperation between the two entities. Participants felt that governments should encourage more stakeholder involvement to enable businesses to overcome unnecessary burdensome regulation.
Opening the event, British High Commissioner Rob Luke said: “As the dust settles after the European elections, all European Governments agree the importance of restoring growth, boosting competitiveness and creating jobs. Key to that is letting business get on with it, unfettered by needless or cumbersome regulation. Our discussions today showed that the UK and Malta share the goal of better regulation at EU and national level.”
The Hon. Anthony Agius Decelis, recently appointed Commissioner for Simplification and Reduction of Bureaucracy also addressed the event ‘’this government is committed to improve public service delivery through simplification of regulation and administrative procedures, cutting red tape by 25%. The government is geared to generate wealth and economic prosperity for its citizens, investors and entrepreneurs. We aim in giving our support to businesses to grow and thrive successfully through better regulation initiatives such as the ‘one in, one out’ and ‘sunset clauses’ principle’’
Dr Natasha Chick, Head of the EU Economic Team at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London explained that the British government is committed to employing a ‘one-in two-out system’, whereby a new piece of legislation replaces two burdensome and out-dated pieces. Such a method goes above and beyond the EU advocated one-in one-out principle.
John Aquilina, from the Better Regulation Unit at the Office of the Prime Minister, gave a background on the processes for streamlining EU regulation at a local level, as well as an update on the state of play with regards to the implementation of the SME test. Mr Aquilina elaborated on the achievements attained to-date within the ambit of the implementation of the first cycle of the Administrative Burden Reduction programme in Malta.
Omar Cutajar, MBB Permanent Delegate in Brussels updated participants on the state of progress on the EU Better Regulation agenda. He shed light on how the European Commission is committed towards a competitiveness proofing policy with its REFIT programme in order to ensure more business-friendly regulation.
Newly appointed MBB President Mario Spiteri, highlighted that competitiveness is increasingly becoming defined as to how well companies adapt to an ever evolving regulatory environment. “The very scope of regulation is to ensure a more competitive environment through introducing a fair and level playing field. However there is no doubt that over-regulation can be counter-productive to competitiveness. The MBB is committed to work with the relevant decision makers in order to improve the situation currently being faced by Maltese and European businesses,” he concluded.