This week, the Federal Government adopted the cornerstones for a digital check and a national bureaucracy relief law. The digital check is intended to introduce the practice of checking legislative projects for their digital suitability across the board. The new Bureaucracy Relief Act is intended to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and ensure a low-bureaucracy and effective implementation of EU law. The Startup Association welcomes these first steps towards reducing bureaucracy and calls for more speed in digitalisation.
“Startups and scaleups think digitally and innovatively by nature. Especially with limited human and financial resources, they are particularly burdened by excessive bureaucracy,” says Magdalena Oehl, deputy chair of the Startup Association. “The Digital Check is an important step forward. The German government must consistently continue on the path it has taken towards digitisation and the reduction of bureaucracy and create even more commitment and consistency when examining laws for their digital suitability.” In the German Startup Monitor 2022 conducted together with PwC Germany, 9 out of 10 German startups called for the acceleration and simplification of administrative processes.
“The Digital Check can help to ensure that legal regulations correspond to our digital realities of life. To successfully shape the transformation of the economy, we need more efficiency and less bureaucracy in Germany overall. Digitalisation has a decisive role to play here. This applies not only to new laws, but also to many existing administrative practices. Too often we are still getting in our own way with our rules,” Oehl notes. In the associations’ hearing on the Bureaucracy Relief Act, the start-up association had criticised unnecessary bureaucracy and a lack of digitalisation as well as the inconsistent implementation of EU law.
Bureaucracy slows down startups and scaleups, German legislation often requires documentation of important processes on paper. Other EU member states are using the Digitalisation Directive much more ambitiously than Germany and are gaining a competitive advantage – in Austria, a startup has accelerated the process of going to the notary when founding a company by using electronic notarisation. “Even with the quick improvements that the Federal Government launched with the so-called Supplementary Act (DiREG) right at the beginning of the legislative period, Germany is unnecessarily lagging behind the possibilities,” Oehl emphasises.
In the past, the start-up association had criticised the federal government’s lack of digital ambition, for example in the implementation of the EU Working Conditions Directive. The compulsory paperwork it contains means a completely avoidable additional effort for startups and scaleups, and explicit EU leeway remains unused. “The law would have failed its own “digital check” with a crash,” said Oehl.
About the Startup Association
The German Startup Association represents the interests of startups vis-à-vis politics, business and the public. In its network of 1,200 members, the association creates an exchange between startups, scaleups, investors and the established economy. The goal of the Startup Association is to make Germany and Europe a more startup-friendly location.