A new briefing note from Open Europe [pdf] shows that the EU’s acquis communautaire – the body of EU legislation which European companies, charities and individuals have to comply with – now totals 170,000 pages. This contrasts with official assertions that the total is around 80,000 pages. By totalling up pages in the many volumes of the EU’s “Official Journal” of legislation Open Europe found that the EU has passed 666,879 pages of laws since its inception in 1957, around 26% of which is currently active. If all the legislation the EU has passed were laid out lengthways it would be over 120 miles long, whilst legislation currently in force would be 31.7 miles long.
Open Europe Deputy Chairman Derek Scott, Tony Blair’s former Economic Advisor, said: “The growing burden of EU over-regulation is a serious problem for businesses and even voluntary groups. The EU needs to be redesigned to make it possible to roll back some of the unnecessary legislation.”