“Stop the bureaucracy“ – European industry needs quick decisions

16 Februar 2024

In today’s very competitive global scene, speed is of strategic importance. Speeding-up permitting is crucial for the renaissance of industry in Europe.

BusinessEurope recently published the results of a new survey of companies across 21 European countries about their experiences with EU industrial permitting processes.

Some results: for about 60% of companies, the permit-granting process takes between 1 and 6 years (between 1-3 years for 47% of companies and between 3-6 years for 12% of companies). Any examples? A typical Austrian cement plant applies for 3-7 permits per year, while LNG terminals in Germany need about 20 permits per year.

For 83% of the companies surveyed, the complexity and duration of permitting processes are an obstacle to investing in Europe. They report challenges with public authorities – speed and lack of coordination – as well as complications and uncertainty around EU and national regulations.

“Out-of-date, lengthy and overly bureaucratic industrial permitting processes are a strategic bottleneck, hindering companies in their transformation and preventing them from deploying green and digital solutions. Despite some progress lately in the field of renewable energies, the overall situation for industry remains very patchy and a strategic and structured dialogue at EU level is urgently needed”, says Stefan Pan, Vice-President of BusinessEurope and European delegate at Confindustria.

Stefan Pan, Vice-President of Business Europe and European delegate at Confindustria

The top three actions that survey respondents wanted to see taken to improve and speed up EU permitting were:

  • Time limits for the granting of permits by authorities (86%);
  • Increased communication between companies and authorities (82%);
  • Allowing an early start of projects/construction (79%).