Opinion: Europe is at risk of eating itself 

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17 November 2022 - 10:18, by , in News, Comments off

Let’s be honest: Europe loves regulation. Arguably, the most regulated territory in the world. While these rules and processes can bring benefits to the citizens of this diverse and culturally rich continent – one that I love – it’s important to note that they do come with a cost.

In my view, we desperately need to calculate the cost/benefit of the regulation and think about the principle of efficiency. 

The principle of efficient regulatory systems

This is not a call for deregulation – or a ‘race to the bottom’ as some would call it. More a nudge for those in power to find smarter, more efficient systems and processes. For the principle of efficiency to be a founding principle rather than an afterthought.

Duplication of effort in European regulation

Duplication of effort is rife in the regulatory world. If you work in CBD, vape, medicines and cosmetics you probably know what I’m talking about. 

In every product category I’ve worked there is unnecessary data collection and submission in duplicate. Businesses must submit the same data from the same sources, and in some case, multiple times. Of course, I’m not talking about justified regulatory steps. Businesses should jump through hoops because it gets them to do what they sometimes overlook.

But does it have to be in a way where efficiency and streamlining is seemingly absent?

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The financial impact of inefficient regulatory processes on Europe

I dread to think of the total financial cost to a single nation – let alone Europe – of inefficient regulatory processes. I’m sure it would run into the 10’s of billions. At a time where businesses and government need to earn more and cut costs we need a new way of building regulatory processes with the efficiency principle in mind. 

On the world stage, Europe must perform better, more efficiently. And this is one way it can.

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