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Volume 687: debated on Thursday 30 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How they will respond to European Union Commissioner Verheugen's paper to cut red tape in the European Union by 25 per cent by 2012; and to German Chancellor Merkel's proposal for the German presidency in 2007 to promote better European Union regulation and introduce debureaucratisation for small firms. [HL137]

The UK broadly supports the Commission's ambitions for a 25 per cent reduction in administrative burdens. This would make a significant contribution to improving the competitiveness of EU businesses. We also welcome the German Chancellor's commitment to making further progress on better regulation during Germany's presidency of the EU next year. The UK will continue to work with the Commission, other member states and the European Parliament to deliver on this agenda. We will also continue to encourage the Commission and Council to ensure that small and medium enterprises, which are most affected by legislation, feel the immediate benefits of this ambitious drive to improve the regulatory environment across the EU.