Study – Cutting red tape: assessing regulation impact and regulatory overreach by the European Commission

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is planning to launch a procurement procedure for a study on Cutting red tape: assessing regulation impact and regulatory overreach by the European Commission.


This announcement has been published pursuant to Annex I.14 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, with a view to awarding a low value contract for a study based on a negotiated procurement procedure. It is being published ahead of the procurement procedure to provide basic information on the subject matter of the contract, to give economic operators the opportunity to express an interest in participating as tenderers in the subsequent procurement procedure.



Between 2017 and 2022, the EU’s ambitions translated into an extensive legislative agenda, resulting in 5 422 pages of additional texts and 850 new obligations being imposed on European companies[1]. This increasing regulatory burden for EU companies is perceived as being significantly higher than in other developed nations and as hindering investment, employment and growth.

Mandatory environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting for an increasing number of firms[2], complex due diligence rules for chains of activities[3], tighter rules on industrial emissions[4], the proposal on packaging and packaging waste[5], the regulation of chemicals, the regulation on general product safety[6], minimum taxation legislation[7], and major new measures relevant to digitalisation[8]: these are all examples of highly complex regulations that entail major reporting and compliance costs for European companies, which  are particularly damaging for SMEs. Moreover, the development of crucial future-oriented sectors is being held back by overly complex approval procedures and overly prescriptive regulations.

A complex and incoherent regulatory environment is seen as a key factor affecting Europe’s competitiveness[9], along with high energy prices, exposure to geopolitical tensions and a lack of skilled workers – all of which are pushing investment away from the EU.

It is important to note that impact assessments are not carried out on all initiatives expected to have significant economic impact. Even when such assessments do take place, they often lack transparency and yield results that raise questions about their reliability and validity.

It is therefore crucial for impact assessments to be carried out diligently and updated throughout the legislative procedure.

The regulatory burden can be reduced by simplifying existing legislative obligations and by eliminating unnecessary and outdated laws. It is also important to avoid a situation where unnecessarily heavy administrative obligations are imposed on enterprises as part of new laws.

The best way to do this is to estimate the impact of the planned legislation on enterprises in advance. The regulatory burden can be reduced by improving and developing official processes and digital tools. Ultimately, the objective is to achieve important policy objectives in the least burdensome way possible.

Objectives of the study

Against this backdrop, the main objective of the study Cutting red tape: assessing regulation impact and regulatory overreach by the European Commission is to lead towards the development of a sound methodology for assessing the regulatory burden likely to arise from EU legislation.

As a preliminary step for this, the study should examine the ways in which the European Commission’s regulatory activities have expanded, both qualitatively and quantitatively, during its most recent term (2019-2024), and provide an overview of the current better regulation tools and of their limitations.

This study should include a method for (digital/AI-based) monitoring of draft laws, proposed directives, white papers, online petitions, parliamentary initiatives and other expressions of political will that have an impact on companies’ ‘license to operate’.

Ultimately, a new set of dedicated heuristics and metrics should be developed, creating a microeconomically and institutionally sound regulation index based on a database.

A study that shows a path towards the development of a useful index of regulatory costs in real time could be a very important contribution to achieving the EU’s stated goal of reducing the regulatory burden and of better law making. Ideally, such an index could then be used to give a red light to any new regulatory initiative, e.g. in the context of the competitiveness check, if it reaches an unsustainable level of bureaucratic complexity.

Languages/geographical area

The study should be written in English and cover five Member States[10], with the choice of countries to be justified by the contractor.

Indicative timeline

  1. Launch of the invitation to tender: 1st quarter 2024.
  2. Deadline for submission of tenders: approximately 1st quarter 2024.
  3. Contract award: 2nd quarter 2024.
  4. The final study report is expected within six months following the signature of the contract.


Participation is open on equal terms to all natural and legal persons established in the European Union (EU) or in a third country which has a special agreement with the EU in the field of public procurement, on the conditions laid down in that agreement. This includes:

  • All EU Member States;
  • Parties to special international agreements with the EU in the field of public procurement:
    • European Economic Area agreement (EEA): Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein;
    • Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAA): North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.


Entities established in a country that has access to the procurement procedure can express interest in participating in the planned procedure by filling in and submitting the contact form linked to at the bottom of this page.


By submitting your contact details, you consent to the EESC processing this personal data in line with this privacy statement. To access, change or delete your data at any time, please contact the data controller by sending an email to


Please note that this announcement does not create any obligation for the EESC to launch a procurement procedure. The EESC will take the submitted information into account only to identify potential candidates. Expressing interest in participating in this type of negotiated procedure does not create any legal right or legitimate expectation on the part of any economic operator, and the EESC has the right to cancel the procedure at any time. The documents relating to the actual call for tenders (invitation letter, tender specifications and draft contract) will only be provided to the identified candidates when the procedure is launched, and any tender received from a legal or natural person not invited to tender will be rejected.



[10] The choice of countries should be geographically balanced.


Expressions of interest in participating or requests for further information should be sent via the following contact form:


Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 17:00