EU Must Make Accelerating Permits A Priority, Says Business Group

By Reuters
EU Must Make Accelerating Permits A Priority, Says Business Group

The time it takes to secure permits is a barrier to investing in Europe, a survey by business lobby BusinessEurope has revealed.

In a survey of 240 companies, 83% found the complexity and duration of securing permits to invest in Europe to be a significant obstacle.

BusinessEurope revealed the results and called on the European Union (EU) to accelerate the process.

Boost Europe’s Competitiveness

More than half of the businesses survey (53%) called the permitting process a ‘serious problem’.

The president of BusinessEurope Fredrik Persson said most members felt the investment climate in Europe was worse than in the United States and Asia.


Persson cited the three biggest factors impacting investment as energy costs, excessive regulation and lengthy permit procedures.

The lobby group, whose membership comprises the national business federations of 36 countries, said the next European Commission from 2024 to 2029 should tackle permits to boost Europe’s competitiveness.

Persson told Reuters, “This comes with basically no cost, but a huge upside for companies.”

Twice As Long

Data released today showed that 47% of companies took one to three years to secure permits, and it takes 16% of companies even longer.

Many companies need multiple permits to operate, such as an LNG terminal in Germany that needs about 20 permits per year.


Persson said that international competition had intensified as the United States and Asia were taking a more flexible approach to permits.

He said it took twice as long to get a medical device approved in Europe as in the United States.

However, Persson emphasised that businesses were not looking for standards on approval to drop.

“It is not the ‘yes’ percentage we’re trying to change here,” he said. “It’s the speed.”

Under a new law set to enter force this year, the EU will set short timelines for permits to be granted.

Persson said this was a good first step, but this approach with set time limits should be applied to all parts of the value chain.

Stay Connected With Our Weekly Newsletter

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.