Brussels is to take the axe to 69 proposals for EU directives and regulations,
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has pledged.

Barroso told FT Europe last week that some pending legislation proposals emanating
from the EU executive are “absurd”.

Barroso and his deputy, EU industry chief, Günter Verheugen have scrutinised
200 draft laws in various stages of the EU’s complex legislative process.

Both will unveil a legislation hit list on 27 September, a move that will
concern trade unions, equality and environmental campaigners.

“The important thing is to change the culture of the organisation,” Barroso
told the newspaper.

The move is part of a deregulation initiative with Barroso claiming certain
laws had damaged the reputation of the EU.

In March, Verheugen pledged to cut red tape in 900 draft EU laws and vowed
that screening new regulations for bureaucracy would be a ‘number one priority’.

It is now expected that Brussels will systematically check that proposed laws
do not lead to more bureaucracy and hinder economic growth.

Commenting on Barroso’s de-regulation initiative, John Monks, General Secretary
of the European Trade Union Confederation claimed social Europe is at risk.

“The ETUC will not take this debate seriously if pre-emptive strikes are made
against key European regulations,” said Monks.

“I am writing to [Barroso] today asking him to provide a list of the measures
he is looking to scrap.”

“It is important that the EU deals with major issues that will have impact
across all of Europe, not matters that can be decided by national governments. Mr
Barroso’s comments today prove that we have been absolutely right in arguing
for common-sense legislation in the EU."

Liz Lynne MEP, who recently lobbied to do away with parts of the recent optical
radiation directive, designed to protect workers against sunlight, has praised
the president's comments.

“I am so pleased that common sense appears to be prevailing in the European
Commission at last," said Lynne.

"I have claimed for some time now that unnecessary regulation gives a
bad name to the EU."

Also in March, the commission issued a communication on "Better Regulation
for Growth and Jobs in the EU".

The paper sets out an ambitious agenda designed to cut the regulatory burden
and red tape faced by business and to ensure a better balance between costs
and benefits of legislation.

And, in an effort to help identify red tape, the Commission launched an online
questionnaire on 1 June to ask business how the administrative burdens should
be reduced and simplified.

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