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Speech in plenary during the debate on Better Regulation

Gunnar Hökmark (EPP-ED), Draftsman of the opinion of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. – Madam President, first of all I should like to thank the rapporteur on better regulation in the European Union, Mrs Lévai, and the Committee on Legal Affairs, for accepting a number of the proposals made by my Committee, which is very much appreciated.

This is an area in which it is very easy to agree on our goal. However, that is not what the debate is about: it is about how to achieve results. The role of the Commission in this must be underlined. The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has proposed that the Commission conduct an annual follow-up on the results of reducing the administrative burden by 25% by 2012. The role of the Commission is also important in enabling choices to be made when discussing legislation or, for example, self-regulation or mutual recognition, and in ensuring that we have some such legislation and – something which the Commission has also done – in withdrawing legislation that is not consistent with the Lisbon process.

We would like the Commission to see the Lamfalussy process as a good experience that has opened up financial markets in harmony with reality. However, we would also like to underline the Commission’s own responsibilities, in its direct relations with citizens, to secure simplification and better regulation regarding research funding, grants, state aid, subsidies of various kinds and procurements. The Commission does have a role to play on its own in this area. We would also hope that the Commission will come back to the idea of giving citizens the right of action when Member States do go in for gold-plating. It is important to have a counterbalance to the ever-increasing bureaucracy of all our local and national authorities and, one might also say, of the institutions of the European Union. One way of doing this would be to give citizens the right of action.