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A feasibility study published today by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy shows that an ambitious pruning of superfluous bureaucracy can also be achieved at European level via the introduction of a “one-in-one-out” rule. The Economic Affairs Ministry has been calling for several years for this important principle be applied in Brussels.

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier said: “I very much welcome the idea of introducing “one-in-one-out” at European level, and am delighted that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has proposed this. Just like in Germany, we also need to keep up the pressure to cut red tape at European level. “One-in-one-out” means that for every euro of new expense imposed by new rules, at least one euro of existing compliance costs must be cut. This reduces the burden on industry, and on small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. Cutting bureaucracy is an important element of my SME Strategy. The Commission President’s announcement now needs to be vigorously implemented with a high level of ambition.”

The study is being presented in the Economic Affairs Ministry in Berlin today at a meeting of European experts on better regulation. State Secretary Claudia Dörr-Voß is opening the conference of the Better Regulation Network. In the study, Professor Andrea Renda of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) analyses the experience made with “one-in-one-out” in the EU and OECD member states. The findings show that “one-in-one-out” can help to reduce compliance costs on a lasting basis at European level and sets out a specific roadmap for its implementation. You can find the study here.

Germany has been deploying the “one-in-one-out” approach since 2015 and has succeeded in cutting compliance costs for businesses by €2 billion each year since then. However, in the same period, the full implementation of EU directives has increased the annual compliance costs for German business by around €500 million.