The REFIT programme

EESC opinion: The REFIT programme

Key points

The EESC notes that the REFIT programme should contribute to making European legislation simple, understandable and coherent, without being detrimental to the protection of citizens, consumers, workers, social dialogue or the environment.

The consultations of citizens, experts and stakeholders as part of REFIT should be as open as possible, but cannot be a substitute for the consultation of social partners and the EESC.

The EESC is worried about the prospect of a bureaucratisation of the decision-making process. It underlines that this process should remain as smooth and relevant as possible, and that sovereign political decision-making must not be undermined by REFIT.

The Committee points out that the work of the REFIT Platform, in which it actively participates, should be restricted to carrying out a limited review of a number of topics and cannot replace the co-legislators or the mandatory consultation of the Committee and the social partners, as provided for by the Treaties.

The EESC calls for the REFIT programme exercise not to conclude in advance what course regulation should take: validating, extending, complementing, amending or repealing legislation. The EESC could furthermore not agree to be a part of any exercise that sought to quantitatively diminish the EU acquis without measuring in advance all the consequences on social, environmental and consumer protection.