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uni'wissen 01-2012_ENG

The European Commission proposes legislation and ensures that the member states adhere to European law. A simplification of ­European administrative law would greatly change working procedures and power structures in the organization. Photo: European ­Commission Haste makes waste, warns a common prov­ erb. But when a pressing problem surfaces, the only option is to take immediate action. When the mills of administration grind too slowly, how­ ever, a solution can be a long time coming. When the first reports on enterohemorrhagic Esche- richia coli (EHEC) shocked the media world, ­doctors didn’t yet know enough to correctly gauge the dangers of this bacterial disease or the risks of taking drugs to treat it. The idea was to prevent the disease from spreading over inter­ national and intercontinental borders with the help of rapid crisis management, but the gears of the bureaucratic apparatus jammed in communi­ cating the threat posed by the epidemic. Today, the threat is gone, but the communication problem remains. Even the exchange between the state and federal level in Germany was deficient – and the necessity of coordinating the flow of information with European food safety officials made things even more complicated. “When you liberalize markets, you come up against difficulties. First come the goods over the border, then come the problems,” says Prof. Dr. Jens-Peter Schneider, expert in admini­ Researchers in Freiburg Are Working on a Concept for Simplifying the Administrative Regulations of the European Union More Order in Law by Lars Schönewerk 36