Commission rethinks `mini-IPPC', urges `consent by silence' for SMEs

The European Commission's plans for a "mini-IPPC" Directive for smaller industrial firms have suffered a setback after EC Environment Ministers invited it to prepare a wider strategy on environmental controls for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at a meeting in April. Meanwhile, the Commission has come forward with deregulatory proposals to assist business start-ups - including an Italian idea of "consent by silence" which would allow firms to begin operation if regulators failed to respond to permit applications within strict deadlines.

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