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HELLO THERE! Kristina Alsér – Chair of the newly launched Simplification Council

Maria
Gustafsson
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Kristina Alsér, Chair of the Council for Simplification
Kristina Alsér has extensive experience in running businesses and is now looking forward to making life easier for all entrepreneurs. Photo: Alexander Hall.

She is a business leader, former County Governor of Kronoberg County, and was responsible for the government investigation on regulatory simplification in businesses (2021). Kristina Alsér will now lead the work of the Council for Simplification, which the government launched on June 5 to reduce the regulatory burden and administrative costs for businesses.

Congratulations on your new appointment! The Council’s task is to come up with well thought-out proposals for measures to reduce regulatory burdens, which can be implemented quickly. How important does this task feel to you?

– Having run companies myself and devoted much of my working life to these issues, I know what a difference simpler rules can make, especially for small businesses. And what’s good for small businesses is also good for larger ones.

– The aim of reducing the regulatory burden on businesses is to make them use the time on their core business. This increases Swedish competitiveness. So the task of leading the Simplification Board feels extremely meaningful.

– For example, the government’s study on simplifying rules led to the decision that businesses no longer need to keep paper copies of receipts that are available digitally. This small measure has reduced administrative costs in the business sector by SEK 3.9 billion. And there are plenty of such simple rule simplifications that can be implemented tomorrow. So to be able to crown my career by leading the work on regulatory simplification to a successful conclusion feels very good on a personal level.

The Council for Simplification is a brand new body with wide powers. What is the Council’s main task at this early stage?

– Now it is important that time and resources are used effectively. We need to learn more about the knowledge we all have, and plan how we will work. It is important to have depth and breadth in our work, and that we can bounce ideas off those we work for – the entrepreneurs.

– The Council includes representatives from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, the Federation of Swedish Enterprises and the Board of Swedish Industry and Commerce for Better Regulation (NNR). It is crucial that we have our ear to the ground and that the work is based on co-creation.

What are the most burdensome rules for the smallest businesses that you think should be scrapped immediately?

– In the 2021 report, we scanned the rules that are particularly burdensome for micro-enterprises. These include rules on having employees and on public procurement, on planning and building regulations and on the Limited Liability Companies Act.

– Our task now is to review rules and assess them according to their relevance and level of complexity. Some rules will disappear, others will remain but will be simplified. There are also conflicting rules that we need to sort out.

– We will deliver simplification measures to encourage more entrepreneurs to dare and want to grow. I am particularly keen on smaller businesses and know that there is endless potential if they were allowed to spend their time running their core business, not on paperwork.

More about the Council for Simplification
The Simplification Council is a special decision-making body at the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. The chair is Kristina Alsér and the members are Christer Östlund, expert on regulatory improvement at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, and Erik Östman, expert in regulatory simplification at the Federation of Swedish Enterprises, and the deputy Andrea Femrell, CEO of the Board of Swedish Industry and Commerce for Better Regulation. The Council can make suggestions for both simplifications of current rules and other simplification measures that make it easier for businesses to comply with existing regulations. All appointments are valid from June 5, 2024 to June 5, 2026. The Government has allocated SEK 10 million per year to the Council and its secretariat.

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