Terms of reference for the Danish Business Regulation Forum

In Denmark the ambition is to make it easier to run a proper and healthy business.

Background

It is the Government's ambition that it should be simple and easy to run a proper and healthy business in Denmark. This means that companies should not experience unnecessary cost-burdening regulation and management. Efficient and simple regulation constitutes a central dimension of the regulatory framework for corporate Denmark.

The rules must therefore be simple and clear and public digital solutions must be user-friendly. Cooperation across public authorities should make it even easier for businesses that are able and are willing to comply with the rules. In addition, all business-oriented EU regulation must be implemented in a reasonable way that does not impose unnecessary burdens on businesses.

Since 2012, the Danish Business Forum for Better Regulation has successfully helped successive
governments to clean up rules that place unnecessary burdens on companies.

Objective

Going forward, the Danish Business Regulation Forum will be given the task of bringing forward specific recommendations for improvements in the Danish and European regulation.

Therefore, until the end of 2023, the Danish Business Regulation Forum will serve as an independent advisory body for the government's work on making it easier to conduct business in Denmark. This means that the work that was previously done in the Implementation Council is being transferred to the Danish Business Regulation Forum, ensuring that, the task of creating simpler rules henceforward is coordinated in a unified body.

The Danish Business Regulation Forum must thus advise the government on the work of implementing new and upcoming EU regulation, so that the implementation entails the least possible costs for business. The Forum can also contribute to identifying and prioritising areas in which existing Danish implementation, or the interpretation of EU regulation should be simplified. The object of the Danish Business Regulation Forum is to provide specific recommendations, 

  1. (1) that reduce administrative burdens in national and European business regulation,
  2. (2) that reduce the cost of complying with regulation, and
  3. (3) that reduce the costs of reorganising and adapting your company in connection with regulatory changes.

The Danish Business Regulation Forum must furthermore have a distinct focus on offering specific recommendations for simplifications that support the development of new business models and the spread of new technology, and where business-oriented digital solutions can be optimised or better linked across different authorities.

The work is based on the premise that the government essentially wishes to preserve a protective approach in relation to matters such as the environment, workers and consumers. But regulation and administration should also be established in the most expedient way for companies and entrepreneurs, ensuring that Denmark is a competitive country in which and from which to conduct business.

The government will process all the Danish Business Regulation Forum’s recommendations according to a "follow-or-explain principle", meaning that the government commits to either implement the forum's recommendations or to explain why the recommendations are not implemented.

The tasks of the forum

The Danish Business Regulation Forum should advise and offer recommendations to the government in regard to the following:

  • The forum identifies the areas in which companies face the greatest challenges in regard to costly rules, identifies the specific problems and proposes potential simplifications. The recommendations may contain specific recommendations for reducing costs that result from rules which,
    • involve a significant amount of time
    • drive expenditure
    • restrict production.
       
  • In this respect, the Danish Business Regulation Forum may only make recommendations to amend the rules on taxes and fees which result in limited, minor revenue for the state. In other words, the Danish Business Regulation Forum must render it probable that the revenue for the rules that the collected taxes or fees are intended to ensure is limited relative to the associated administrative consequences or other compliance costs. In addition, recommendations regarding taxes and fees are not included in the forum's work and the right of initiation.
     
  • The Danish Business Regulation Forum can advise the government on how the implementation of new EU regulation will lead to the lowest possible costs to businesses. This was formerly the task of the Implementation Council, in which stakeholders in the Danish business community and the trade union movement can make specific recommendations to the government regarding business-oriented EU regulation.
     
  • The Danish Business Regulation Forum must be able to continuously submit recommendations to the ministries for impending implementation, based on implementation plans prepared by the individual ministries.
     
  • The Danish Business Regulation Forum can advise the government on future business-oriented EU regulation where it is assessed that there is a need for early and proactive action. All recommendations regarding early management of interests are still dealt with in the domestic EU decision-making process before the government decides which recommendations to adopt or not to adopt.
     
  • The Danish Business Regulation Forum can propose areas in which it may be beneficial to initiate checks on the implementation or interpretation of EU regulation by neighbouring countries.
     
  • In addition, the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs may ask the Danish Business Regulation Forum to look into specific areas in which the rules are perceived as unnecessarily burdensome or where the dialogue between businesses and public authorities could be simplified.
     
  • The Danish Business Regulation Forum advises the government on the development and application of the methodology for regulatory impact assessments and the principles of future-proof regulation of business.
     
  • The Danish Business Regulation Forum must focus particularly on identifying specific simplifications in areas where digitisation and new technological trends will challenge the regulation, and it must offer specific recommendations as to how regulation and related business-oriented digital solutions can be best designed.

The composition of the forum

The Danish Business Regulation Forum is established by the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, and it consists of representatives from Danish business organisations, the trade union movement, special experts and Danish companies at executive level:

  • A chair (appointed by the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs).
  • One member from the Confederation of Danish Industry.
  • One member from the Danish Chamber of Commerce.
  • One member from the Danish Agriculture & Food Council.
  • One member from the Danish Construction Association.
  • One member from SMEdenmark.
  • One member from FSR – Danish Auditors.
  • One member from Insurance & Pension Denmark.
  • One member from Danish Shipping.
  • One member from Finance Denmark.
  • One member from DA (the Confederation of Danish Employers).
  • One member from FH – Danish Trade Union Confederation.
  • One member from the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations.
  • One member of the Danish Consumer Council (Forbrugerrådet TÆNK).
  • Up to three representatives from active businesses (appointed by the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs).
  • Three experts with specialist skills in EU/national regulation, digital solutions and new business models or data structures/API solutions (appointed by the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs).

The Danish Business Regulation Forum is obliged to obtain knowledge and expert assistance from relevant stakeholder organisations, industry associations, think tanks etc. in the preparation of recommendations.

Relevant ministries are to be involved and kept up-to-date, including in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on matters that are horizontal in nature.

In addition, municipalities may be involved on an ad hoc basis as needed.

The members of the Danish Business Regulation Forum are appointed for three years at a time.

Secretariat

The Danish Business Regulation Forum is served by a secretariat in the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs. Other ministries should be involved as necessary.