Simplifying EU rules for citizens and business: findings from the 2022 Annual Burden Survey


Today, the European Commission has published the 2022 Annual Burden Survey, which presents the Commission’s action to simplify and modernise EU rules. It lays out the progress and concrete examples of what the Commission has achieved in the first year of fully applying the ‘one in, one out’ approach, as well as with its Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme and its follow-up to the recommendations of the Fit for Future Platform high-level expert group. This work is reinforced by additional efforts, as outlined in the SME Relief Package.

First year results of implementing the ‘one in, one out’ approach

The ‘one in, one out’ represents a kind of ‘cost brake’, which means that all new compliance costs, including administrative costs, for citizens and businesses are quantified and offset with a reduction of existing burden or compensated to the greatest extent possible. The Commission applied the approach to 52 legislative proposals in 2022. The adopted proposals are expected to reduce the overall administrative burden by EUR 7.3 billion. Digitalisation and interoperable solutions often help achieve cost savings.

Achievements of the Commission’s simplification and burden reduction work – REFIT

In 2022, the Commission finalised evaluations, fitness checks and tabled revisions of EU legislation with the potential of bringing significant burden reduction and simplification benefits for citizens, businesses and public authorities. The initiatives cover a wide range of policy areas from climate action and competition, justice and migration, mobility and transport to the single market. The Survey contains detailed examples of these achievements.

The Commission’s follow-up to the work of the Fit for Future platform

The Fit for Future Platform adopted 10 opinions in its annual work programme, covering a wide range of initiatives that include, amongst others, enterprise friendly VAT, the governance of the energy union and climate action, access of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to capital, food waste and donations, and the REACH Regulation on chemicals. The Survey reports on the Platform’s recommendations and the Commission’s follow-up to all of the opinions.

The Commission is welcoming further suggestions on simplifying EU policies through the Have Your Say: Simplify! portal from all European citizens, businesses, organisations, and institutions.


The Annual Burden Survey is part of the Better Regulation Agenda and the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT), the Commission’s regulatory approach for evidence-based and transparent policymaking. The 2021 Better Regulation Communication proposed concrete improvements in the EU law-making process to foster Europe’s recovery and to ensure that EU laws remain future-proof, including the introduction of the ‘one in, one-out’ approach. The Fit for Future Platform, a high-level expert group of national, regional and local authorities, civil society organisations, businesses and members of the RegHub network of the Committee of the Regions, was set up in 2020 to complement the Commission’s regulatory simplification work.

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