NEMA urges more forceful effort in EU to reduce regulatory burden

By Plant Engineering Staff November 30, 2006

While the National Electrical Manufacturers Association has been closely following European Commission vice president Guenther Verheugen’s Better Regulation Initiative, it has yet to see meaningful reduction in the amount of red tape confronting companies in the European Union. With the development and implementation of several new environmental directives in particular, the EU business climate is, if anything, worsening, the association said.

“Though well intentioned, these regulations are not only freighted with a faulty understanding of cost-benefit, innovation and the marketplace, they are also driving trade and investment away from many European economies,” observed Evan Gaddis, NEMA president. “At a time when international competition is intense and the EU should be rationalizing its regulatory regime in accordance with its Lisbon Agenda goals to boost competitiveness, Brussels still seems to be moving in exactly the wrong direction.”

Notable among these regulatory regimes is the proposed regulation on the registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals, which would impose extensive re-certification and reporting requirements on both chemical companies and downstream users.

“The Better Regulation Initiative would be a move in the right direction and we are pleased that vice president Verheugen has cited REACH in particular,” added Gaddis. “Unfortunately, good intentions continue to be thwarted by fundamental opposition. An efficient EU marketplace, free of regulatory overreach, seems only a distant possibility under current circumstances.”