Thursday 19 March 2009

A citizens' summary by the European Commission: "EU policy paper - simpler farm policy"

Maybe I just haven't found something like this before, but for me it just felt like the citizen-friendly future has arrived at the European Commission.

I was reading a recent blog post by EU Commissioner Boel (responsible for agriculture and rural development) in which she is describing the Commission's work to reduce administrative burdens under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP):
"I am confident that we can meet our target of reducing the administrative burden arising from the CAP by 25 percent by 2012. But we are not resting on our laurels. There are many more projects in the pipelines. One of these is an IT system that can improve the information flow between Brussels and the Member States. You may wonder what that has to do with simplification. The answer is simple: we firmly believe that better IT systems could reduce the administrative burden on farms by more than €400 million."
Since in the same post Ms Boel promised that the respective report would be easy to read, I went to see it (PDF document).

But more important than the report is the citizens' summary. It starts already with the title: Instead of

A simplified CAP for Europe - a success for all
the citizens' summary just titles
EU policy paper – simpler farm policy
And in this summary, everything important is summarised in a limited number of clear sentences without standard EU vocabulary. Fully understandable for every citizens who can read.

And everyone interested in more details can still read the full communication, which - I have to admit - is also very readable and keeps things as simple as possible.

That is exactly the way I want to see EU administration to act: Keep it clear and simple. This is a good day for the EU Commission.

PS.: And because of this nice presentation of the report, I don't even feel obliged to look through all details hoping to find something evil hidden between the lines.