The Department of Regulatory and European Affairs of CEOE has published the report “The normative production in 2019”, a new edition of the document that has been carried out since 2015 and that allows analyzing the number of standards approved at state, regional and European level each year. The objective is “to put on the table data that shows the normative profusion”, as well as “to make more visible the dedication and effort that it takes for the entrepreneur to keep up to date with all current legislation”.

According to the latest data obtained from the State Agency Official State Gazette (BOE), in 2019 648 new standards of different status were approved at the state level, which represents an increase of 10.2% if compared with the 588 standards that are they adopted in 2018. However, the report highlights that these data are far from reaching the average levels of normative production of the first decade of the 21st century and the high figures of the beginning of the democratic period. In the last four years, “the lower levels of normative production would be justified in the difficulties to form stable governments as a result of electoral results that, since the elections of December 2015, have generated a very heterogeneous parliamentary arch”.

In any case, it is worth noting the consolidation of a growth trend in the production of standards for the third consecutive year.

Of the 648 state norms published in the BOE in 2019, only 4% represent norms with the rank of law, that is: organic law, ordinary law, royal decree law and royal legislative decree.

At the end of 2019, the number of royal decree laws has been for the fourth consecutive year higher than the number of ordinary laws published in the BOE. This is a remarkable fact because, in 42 years of democracy, this phenomenon had only occurred on four other occasions in isolation (1978, 2004, 2008 and 2012).

The recourse to the figure of the royal decree law, provided for cases in which there is an “extraordinary and urgent need”, as stated in the Constitution, creates inconveniences when it is perceived that it is being used in an abusive way, because it is understood that channels would be avoided of consultation and elaboration of more adequate norms. Thus, in 2019 two out of three norms with the rank of law have been developed through a royal decree law.

The norms with the rank of law (laws, legislative decrees and decrees laws) approved by the Autonomous Communities, and included in the BOE itself, amounted to 309 in 2019, which means an increase of 14% over the 271 standards adopted in 2018. In 2019, therefore, the number of norms with the rank of law from the Autonomous Communities was 12 times higher than the norms with the rank of state law.

Pages published in official bulletins
The report also details that the set of pages published by the Official State and Regional Official Gazettes once more comfortably exceeded one million. Specifically, it amounted to 1,038,323 pages in 2019. In the bulletins of the Communities 824,040 pages were published, 4.2% more than in the previous year; and in that of the State, 214,283, with an increase of 3.4% compared to 2018.

Normative production in the European Union
In the European Union, the number of legal acts adopted amounted to 1,995 in 2019, distributed in 818 regulations, 56 directives and 1,121 decisions. Compared to the normative activity of the previous year, the report confirms that there was a slight increase of 4.9%, taking into account that in 2018 a total of 1,902 acts were approved, of which 813 corresponded to regulations, 43 with directives and 1,046 were decisions. As for the total legislation in force in the European Union, it accumulates 54,398 standards.

Complex regulatory framework
The report considers that "Spain has a complex regulatory framework, inherent in a multilevel governance system that causes European, state, regional and local standards to be applied in Spanish territory, in addition to international agreements." "In this situation, it is essential to ensure that current legislation is made up of clear, simple and small numbers that do not cause profusion and legislative dispersion," he adds.

In the opinion of the Confederation, “an institutional framework that promotes a solid rule of law, where regulation is stable, reliable and meets the criteria of good regulatory practices is essential to promote economic growth and business development. The normative production, therefore, cannot be unjustified, disproportionate or discriminatory ”.

In this regard, the report adds, "you must ensure that you do not add unnecessary burdens to companies, which in order to comply with the applicable legislation must allocate huge resources that undermine their competitiveness and prevent greater wealth and employment from being generated."

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