Welcome to the E-learning tool. You will learn about:
- identifying bottlenecks in existing EU legislation;
- structuring relevant input;
- formulating an effective Better Regulation proposal.
Get started by clicking the blue phases below!
The BRIGHT-tool consists of four sequential phases. Each phase contains several steps, which lay out the tasks required for taking stock of potential EU regulatory bottlenecks and eventually formulating a Better Regulation proposal.
The practical steps of the BRIGHT-tool are supported with relevant theory modules, which explain in more detail the structures, procedures and goals of the Better Regulation Agenda.
A schematic overview of the BRIGHT-tool can be found below.
The first phase is about collecting input from your experts and other stakeholders.
By organizing brainstorm sessions, you can assess which regulatory bottlenecks exist within your area of work.
The second phase is about establishing the details behind your regulatory bottleneck.
In coordination with your experts, you can identify and outline your bottleneck(s).
The third phase of the BRIGHT-tool is about matching your regulatory bottleneck with a suitable oppurtunity in the EU Better Regulation Agenda.
Determine the status of relevant legislation and match different kinds of bottlenecks to a suitable Better Regulation opportunity.
The final phase is about proposing your Better Regulation proposals to the European Commission by making optimal use of the Better Regulation input opportunities.
Alright, lets get to work now!
This first phase is dedicated to collecting and selecting possible bottlenecks.
This can be accomplished by starting the following two steps: host a focus group session, in which you identify issues and bottlenecks; and test for relevancy, assess whether the identified problems are relevant for the EU Better Regulation Agenda.
This first step consists of stakeholder or colleague consultation in order to get a comprehensive view of possible regulatory bottlenecks. These consultations will enable you to collect indications and detailed information directly from professionals. Those professionals can encounter a regulatory bottleneck in their daily work practice.
For example someone working in a waste processing plant who has to work with the waste framework directive. This person might identify several bottlenecks concerning waste.
A suggested method to identify these bottlenecks is a focus group. In this focus group, professionals from a wide range of policy area’s and different professional roles are invited. The focus group aims to collect as many examples, issues or bottlenecks as possible. It is, therefore, crucial to creating conditions during such a brainstorm which encourage candid responses from participants. There are several possibilities to structure such a focus group. In the BRIGHT-tool, we recommend two different forms of input collection:
Focus group across policy areas
Focus group in a specific policy area
Collect and evaluate
When the focus group session has brought up an adequate amount of input, it is important to briefly discuss the main findings from the brainstorm (regardless of the format) in a plenary with all participants. During this plenary, the following questions should be asked and reflected on: Do all participants recognise the bottlenecks identified? And is it a problem that could be resolved? This concluding aspect of a brainstorm ensures that the bottlenecks brought forward are widely held, tangible, issues that warrant further investigation. This way, you can preemptively eliminate irrelevant bottlenecks.
For example, if the concluding plenary session establishes that a certain bottleneck related to a certain waste criteria is not widely-held nor recognized, it might nog be a suitable bottleneck to pursue.
To do: Host a focus group session.
Organizing collected bottlenecks
After the conclusion of the focus group, you will likely have a broad spectrum of bottlenecks. It is, however, not uncommon to organise multiple focus group sessions to extend the range and number of bottlenecks or to expand on a number of already identified bottlenecks.
This wide spectrum of bottlenecks could be related to vastly different legal texts originating from national law, EU law or other sources. As such, it essential to structure the received input and bottlenecks in such a way to get a clear outline. One approach to structure a vast number of bottlenecks and issues is to make use of framework tables. Such a table can, for example, organise bottlenecks by subject matter and related (EU) legal text. An example of an early preliminary table is added below. You are of course free to design your approach to structure the collected bottlenecks. It is essential that a preliminary structuring exercise of all accumulated input has been executed before further in-depth work on the collected bottlenecks is done. This ensures an efficient process and a measured selection of suitable bottlenecks which could be submitted in the EU Better Regulation Agenda.
To do: Structure the bottlenecks you have collected in a framework table
Categorisation and selection can achieve additional structuring of collected bottlenecks in such framework tables. This process of selection and categorisation is explained in more detail in the next steps of the BRIGHT-tool. A necessary first step in selecting is to assess whether the collected bottlenecks are appropriate for the EU Better Regulation Agenda and by extension for the BRIGHT-tool. This is explained in step 2.
This step is about assessing whether the issues and bottlenecks you have identified in the brainstorm sessions are appropriate for the EU Better Regulation Agenda (BRA) and subsequently for the BRIGHT-tool. The first aspect we need to take a look at is to see whether your issue area falls under the EU competence. Additional aspects of categorisation and selection of bottlenecks will be discussed in phase 2 of the BRIGHT-tool.
Better Regulation Agenda
The Better Regulation Agenda of 2015 was announced through a communication by the
The Communication on Better Regulation for Better Results – An EU Agenda was issued in 2015 by the Juncker Commission. The Communication was part of the so-called Better Regulation Package, which also entailed better regulation guidelines, toolbox, another Commission Communication on a new Inter-Institutional Agreement, various decisions on the REFIT-programme and the establishment of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board.
Commission. The BRA introduced continuous stakeholder involvement throughout the EU policy-making cycle. By using these consultation opportunities, it is possible to make your voice heard on issues regarding EU legislation that matters to you. However, before we move to this step, we need to assess and select if your collected bottlenecks are appropriate for the BRA. In other words: is your issue BRIGHT-relevant?
If the focus group already revealed that your issue originates from an EU regulation, directive or other EU legislation, you can move on to Phase 2 Zooming in.
Assessing EU competence
Whether your issue can be addressed through the BRA is an essential step in the BRIGHT-tool. This starts with the assessment of EU competence . Whether the EU has the competence to
legislate depends on the principal area of your bottleneck. If your issue does not fall under these areas, your issue is likely not something which can be addressed in the Better Regulation Agenda through use of the BRIGHT-tool
To do: Assess whether your issue falls under EU competence
Now that we have ascertained whether your collected bottlenecks fall under EU-competence, we can move on to the next phase: Zooming in. In this phase, you will start to single-out your specific problem within EU legislation.
In the second phase, you are going to delve deeper into the collected bottlenecks and contextualise them by mapping the relevant EU legal framework. For a successful Better Regulation proposal, it is essential to make clear which parts or articles of which EU legislation are problematic. Moreover, you have to classify the collected bottleneck into different categories, because Better Regulation opportunities differ in their appropriateness for different types of bottlenecks.
Classifying bottlenecks is a necessary preparatory step for the next phases of the BRIGHT-tool, in which the selected bottlenecks will eventually be linked to opportunities within the Better Regulation Agenda (BRA) and a Better Regulation proposal is written.
This step is about mapping the relevant EU legal framework which is related to the bottleneck. Often several EU directives or regulations are complementary, and together regulate a specific sector or policy area. Bottlenecks are therefore not always related to one particular regulation or directive. This aspect of sets of legislation regulating one policy area is also reflected in the European Commission’s evaluation method called Fitness Checks.
With Fitness Checks, the Commission evaluates an entire set of legislation instead of evaluating individual regulations or directives separately.
A better regulation proposal that takes into account all relevant EU legislation would paint a complete picture of the bottleneck and would, therefore, be more likely to yield a potential follow-up.
Identifying EU legal framework
Mapping the EU legal framework can start by listing the identified EU regulation or directive that would seem to be the principal cause of the perceived issue. It is possible that during the broad brainstorm other related EU legislation has already been identified. If that is not the case, it would be advisable to consult the website of the responsible EC Directorate-General (DG) of the policy area in question. Often, the website of an individual DG gives an overview of how a policy area is legislated by the EU and which legislation is in play for specific issues in the policy area.
European Commissioners are supported by departments called Directorates-General (DGs). Most of these departments are policy DGs, which are responsible for specific policy areas. For example, DG COMP is responsible for competition policy and DG REGIO is responsible for regional and urban policy.
How to map
It is advisable to list the identified EU legislation related to the bottleneck in such a way that it gives a clear overview of which and in what way EU legislation is related to or the cause of the bottleneck. If possible, such an overview can also be included in the previously drawn up framework table to get a sense of all EU legislation related to all the collected bottlenecks in the focus group sessions.
An example of such an overview is provided below. This overview is also available as a blank template document which you can use in listing the related EU legislation of your bottlenecks.
To do: List identified pieces of EU legislation in the mapping exercise.
In order to formulate a well-substantiated better regulation proposal it advisable also to narrow down which specific elements of an EU directive or regulation are the cause of, or indirectly contribute to a particular bottleneck. It could be that several factors were already identified in the focus group. Whether that is or is not the case, it is advisable to set up a more in-depth working group
An in-depth working group is aimed at narrowing and substantiating one specific bottleneck with several experts with specific knowledge.
or an in-depth questionnaire with experts to narrow down these elements that may cause a specific bottleneck.
A way to focus the feedback of the responders is to structure a questionnaire around already identified relevant legislation for your subject.
Besides establishing a causal relation between an element of EU legislation and a bottleneck, such focus sessions or questionnaires can also be used to find out how these elements in EU legislation may cause a bottleneck, and in what way these bottlenecks could potentially be resolved.
It is essential to have a knowledgeable and diverse group of responders or participants to ensure you collect valuable detailed input that helps you zoom in on the bottleneck. If possible, the identified elements which are causally or indirectly related to your bottlenecks can also be included in the previously drawn up framework table. That way, the framework table can be enriched with specific substations about which elements of an EU directive or regulation contribute to a bottleneck and in what way.
To do: Organize an in-depth working group or in-depth questionnaire.
To do: List identified elements or articles in legislation contributing to the bottleneck.
When you have completed delving deeper into the bottlenecks and listed the causal or contributing elements of a bottleneck, you are ready to classify your bottleneck(s). This will be explained further in the next step.
The final step in phase 2 is to classify the type of bottlenecks you have identified. This is an essential step because not all types of bottlenecks are suited for the different existing Better Regulation Agenda input opportunities. Consequently, it is possible that different bottlenecks regarding the same legislative act have different routes towards a better regulation proposal.
There are numerous ways to classify regulatory bottlenecks. Below we present three suggested bottleneck categories and subcategories to classify EU regulatory bottlenecks. These categories are devised with the Better Regulation Agenda in mind. In short, the categories differentiate between issues that are mainly about legal technicality issues and issues that are related to the legal objective of the legislation in question. You are of course free to use other additional categories when classifying your bottlenecks. It is, however, important to note that the other components of the BRIGHT-tool, such as the Quick Scan and the Better Regulation Roadmap, are based on the assumption you use the categories presented below.
█ Legal technicality issues
These type of bottlenecks are primarily about certain aspects of a legislation that hinder the optimal realisation of the legislative purpose. The goals or purpose of the legislation is not perceived as problematic or contributing to the bottleneck. Subcategories of this type are:
Efficiency is about whether the design of the legislation is efficient enough to achieve it’s desired effects without unnecessary administrative burdens. Moreover, a lack of efficiency in legislation can hinder the fulfilment of the legislative purpose.
Effectiveness is about the output of the legislation and whether the desired effects of the legislation are achieved.
Interconnection refers to the (problematic) overlap between two sets of legislation. For example, two legislative acts which maintain two different definitions or procedures in the same policy area. Stakeholders have to comply with both definitions or procedures, thus creating an unnecessary administrative burden.
█ Legal objective issues
These type of bottlenecks are primarily about the legislative purpose of the legislation in question, which is perceived as problematic and contributing to the bottleneck. Subcategories of this type are:
Legal objective/legislative purpose
An issue with the legislative purpose of a piece of legislation refers to a problem with the goal it aims to achieve. So the problem is not the performance of the legislative act but rather with its substantive content.
The issue of a lack of necessary rules or outdated legislation means that an area which could use EU legislation is now unregulated. Another option is that the EU legislation which is now in place is outdated and not fit for purpose. The lack of rules or the presence of outdated rules creates unwanted situations which can be solved at the European level.
█ Legal clarification issues
These type of bottlenecks are primarily about the fact that certain aspects of a legislation are unclear and therefore hinder the optimal realization of the legislative purpose. An amended of the legislation in question would not necessarily solve the perceived bottleneck. Rather, more clarification or explanation via non-legal instruments, such as an EC communication or notice, could potentially solve the perceived bottleneck.
Insufficient legal clarification/lack of interpretation
The issue of a lack of interpretation is not a legal problem but a lack of explanation or guidance. This means that it is not clear for those affected by the legislation how they should comply. More guidelines by the Commission are needed to clarify the legislation.
To do: Classify your bottlenecks
In the previous phases you have identified your bottlenecks and the accompanying EU-legislation. In the third phase we will provide you with the tools you need to explore the EU policy cycle and determine the status of the relevant EU-legislation for your bottleneck(s). This is important because the status of EU-legislations determines which opportunities in the Better Regulation Agenda can be used to submit proposals for Better Regulation. The opportunities for submitting these Better Regulation proposals will also be explained in more detail.
After you have familiarized yourself with the EU policy cycle and the Better Regulations Agenda, you are going to learn how to link your bottleneck(s) with the Better Regulation Agenda.
If you’ve used the BRIGHT-tool before, you can skip step 6 and 7 and continue to step 8.
This step will provide more insight into the EU policy-cycle and the accompanying points of entry for better regulation proposals. We will do this by explaining the cyclical steps of EU policy-making which are:
The Better Regulation Agenda (BRA) of 2015 introduced a number of measures and instruments on EU policy-making. The aim was to open up the EU policymaking process further and contribute to higher quality EU legislative proposals. The practical aspects of implementing the BRA in the work of the Commission have been laid down in the Better Regulation Guidelines and Toolbox.
After the introduction of the Better Regulation Agenda (BRA) in 2015, the Commission also published the Better Regulation Guidelines and “Toolbox”. The content of the Toolbox and the Guidelines provide a detailed overview of what the Better Regulations Agenda means for Commission officials and how they should integrate the Better Regulation principles in their daily work.
To do: Familiarize yourself with the EU policy-making cycle and Better Regulation opportunities.
The formulation step in the EU policy cycle is a process where the European Commission and its subsequent DG’s analyse if a legislative initiative is necessary. This can be done either by amending existing EU legislation or by drafting new EU legislation. During this process the lead DG of the European Commission involved in a new legislative initiative needs political validation to proceed.
This means an authorisation by the relevant political Commission authority to prevent policy drift. In other words, every initiative has to be signed off at the political level of the Commission, to ensure that only policy initiatives in line with the political goals of the current Commission are proposed. Before political validation, only informal consideration of the proposal is allowed.
The formulation process of EU policy-making starts publicly when the European Commission makes its intention to start drafting a new legislative proposal known to the public. This is done either by a policy communication or a
The policy communication is a specific type of Commission Communication. Where green and white papers are used to start a discussion or explain what the Commission might do, the Policy Communication shows what the Commission intends to do. However, the Communication is not codified in the Better Regulation Guidelines as a mandatory instrument in EU policymaking.
Roadmap/Inception Impact Assessment.
The Roadmap and Inception Impact Assessment (IIA) are the first official documents in the legislative cycle. While roadmaps and IIAs serve the same purpose, their level of evaluation differs. A roadmap or IIA should generally outline how, what and why the Commission proposes new legislation.
The publication of a Roadmap is mandatory for DG’s when it is considering a new EU legislative initiative. When a possible new legislative initiative is expected to have significant economic, social or environmental impacts, the Commission is obligated to conduct an Impact Assessment (IA).
The Impact Assessment is an instrument which follows the Inception Impact Assessment. With this instrument, the Commission investigates possible impacts of the envisioned EU legislative action. The Commission is obliged to conduct these for all major initiatives.
In that circumstance, an Inception Impact Assessment (IIA) is published instead of a Roadmap. After the publication of a Roadmap or IIA, a four week open consultation period will start. Stakeholders will be able to express their concerns, remarks or suggestions regarding this possible future legislative initiative.
When an Impact Assessment is conducted, the Commission will consult stakeholders to assess the potential effects of a new legislative proposal. How stakeholders will be involved is laid down in the consultation strategy which is presented beforehand in the IIA.
After the Commission has completed all preparatory steps and it has finished drafting a new legislative proposal, the proposal will be made public and sent to the EU co-legislators (the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers). If an Impact Assessment was conducted it will also be published and together with the legislative proposal. After the legislative proposal is published, stakeholders can provide feedback on the proposal and the Impact Assessment for a period of twelve weeks. The feedback which is received during this period will be transmitted to the EU co-legislators.
Most EU acts are adopted via the Ordinary Legislative Procedure (OLP) of article 289 TFEU. The OLP works through a process of readings, where the legislative proposal is scrutinised and sent back and forth between the EU-institutions. In principle, the Commission prepares the proposal and the Parliament and Council ultimately adopt the act.
In practice, during most EU legislative procedures, the EU institutions make use of the so-called informal Trilogues to speed up the decision making process. During the legislative procedure
Trilogue refers to tripartite informal negotiations between the EU institutions, that take place during the legislative procedure. The fact that they are informal and not bound to strict first, second and third reading rules, allows for greater flexibility in the decision-making negotiations between the EU institutions.
there are many ways to submit a proposal for better regulation. Since this concerns influencing EU institutions during the legislative process, it falls outside of the scope of the BRIGHT-tool, which emphasis lies on better regulation opportunities outside of the legislative procedure.
During the stage of implementation, EU legislation is in force and in principle there is less legislative and policy-making activity, with the exception of delegated and implementing acts. These acts, for example, lay down uniform conditions or technical details related to a directive or regulation. They are adopted via comitology or expert groups. Stakeholders can provide input on draft texts of these acts during a period of four weeks.
Apart from the consultation period of new delegated or implementing acts, there are other opportunities to submit proposals for better regulation at this stage of the EU policy-making cycle. One of these opportunities is the REFIT-Platform. Stakeholders can submit their issues and proposals via the Lighten the Load website. When the submission fits the criteria of the Platform, it will be discussed by the Platform and advise the European Commission about the submitted issue.
The evaluation stage of the EU policy cycle is a process whereby the European Commission evaluates EU legislation. The publication of an Evaluation Roadmap
The Evaluation Roadmap is basically the same as the ‘regular’ Roadmap. The difference is that the Evaluation Roadmap outlines the Commission’s plans for an Evaluation or Fitness Check instead of legislation.
always precedes an Evaluation or Fitness Check, but has to abide by the same general rules as the normal roadmap in terms of consultation. It will outline why an evaluation is being considered and lay down
An Evaluation gathers evidence to assess how an EU legislation, policy or spending activity has performed (or is working), and considers why this has occurred. The Commission investigates if the EU act is still fit for purpose and delivers the intended objective at a minimum cost. The Fitness Check is an evaluation of several pieces of legislation.
the stakeholder consultation strategy during the Evaluation or Fitness Check. After an Evaluation Roadmap is published a four week open consultation period will start. This will enable stakeholders to make known to the European Commission their concerns, remarks or suggestions regarding this planned evaluation and EU legislation in question.
During the conduction of an Evaluation or Fitness Checks, the Commission is likely to consult stakeholders to assess well-informed how an EU legislation has performed.
After the evaluation
When an Evaluation or Fitness Check has been conducted, a possible next step could be that the European Commission considers amending or replacing the EU legislation in question during the Evaluation or Fitness Checks. This would entail the start of the formulation stage of the EU policy-making cycle and its subsequent components such as Roadmaps and Impact Assessments. This sequence of stages of the EU policy-making cycle is also laid down in the Better Regulation Guideline as the Evaluate First Principle.
However, this does not mean that an Evaluation or Fitness Checks is immediately followed by a new legislative initiative. If that is the case, stakeholders could again make use of the REFIT Platform submit their issues and proposals via the Lighten the Load website. New legislative proposals can immediately follow evaluations; this is called the back-to-back procedure.
Ideally, an evaluation of legislation is immediately followed by an impact assessment for new legislation.. This back-to-back approach requires a lot of planning, which is why the Better Regulation Toolbox outlines a special approach. This approach means that, if a back-to-back evaluation and impact assessment is planned, only one roadmap/IIA has to be published.
In this step we will explain how the legislative and policy-trackers of the EU work, and how to identify the status legislation in the EU policy-making cycle. To help you determine the status of the EU-legislation relevant to your bottlenecks in the legislative cycle, you can use publicly available legislative- and policy-trackers. In this step, we will introduce the essential digital venues to find up-to-date information about the legislative process and EU policymaking developments.
This database covers most (legal)texts published by EU-institutions and is updated daily. It allows the user to search for documents using titles but also using the inter-institutional codes. Not only is it possible to find all relevant texts in Eurlex, it also tracks the progress of legislative procedures.
Oeil, is the legislative observatory for the European Parliament. It also provides an overview of legislative procedures such as Eurlex. However, Oeil is more focused on the legislative process within the European Parliament and thus provides more details that are not availible in Eurlex.
This public service is maintained by volunteers from inside the European Parliament and is not directly associated with any EU institutions. It can, however, be a very powerful tool for tracking the progress of legislative procedures, at the committee level, in the European Parliament.
A good start to any search is to take a look at the Commission work program. This program is published yearly and details what the plans of the Commission are. The work program is a useful document, especially because the Commission is the only institution with a role in the legislative process without its own dedicated legislation tracker.
The Better Regulation Roadmap is part of the BRIGHT-tool and gives you a clear view of the whole legislative cycle of the EU. Take a look!
Practical tip: the interinstitutional code
In order to use these trackers as efficiently as possible, the best idea is to use the interinstitutional code when browsing. This code is the same among all institutions and prevents unnecessary searches.
To do: Become familiar with the policy trackers.
What is the status of your legislation?
The first thing you have to establish is in what stage of the policy cycle the EU legislation, is located. As described in the previous step, this could be in the stage of formulation, adoption, implementation or evaluation. You can find this information for the relevant legislation by using the policy and legislative trackers introduced above. A good starting point is EUR-Lex. After that, you could consult: Oeil, Parltrack, Consilium and the Commission Work Programme to gather more detailed information.
If there is not a legislative procedure in progress, you should investigate if the EU legislation in question is in in the evaluation or formulation stage. This can be done by checking the website of the DG of the relevant policy area and see if any announcement or communications are published regarding the particular EU legislation. If the European Commission intends to conduct an evaluation or Impact Assessment it will be announced via the Have your say-website. As such, it is therefore critical to also check this website in order to determine if the EU legislation related to your bottleneck(s) is in the evaluation or formulation stage.
Quite often, EU legislation is in the implementation stage. Which means that it is in force and that no evaluation has been announced. This does not mean there are no Better Regulation input opportunities! There is almost always the REFIT-platform to consider unless your bottleneck concerns the legislative purpose of the legislation. Another possibility is the Urban Agenda Action Plan or engaging with relevant actors in the Council or Parliament.
Practical tip: keep looking
In order to establish a complete overview of a legislative proposal or process, it is advisable to use all legislative- and policy-trackers in unison. Only by consulting all sources is it possible to acquire an accurate overview.
To do: Assess status of EU legislation related to your bottleneck(s) and list the status in the framework table
Now that you have identified your bottleneck(s), mapped the relevant EU legislation and its corresponding status in the EU policymaking process, it is time to link them all together. In the next step, we learn at which digital venue of the EU policy cycle your Better Regulation proposal could be best submitted.
In the final step of phase 3, you will match the identified bottlenecks you have listed in your framework table with Better Regulation Agenda opportunities related to the status of the relevant EU-legislation. Below you can find the Better Regulation Roadmap. In this roadmap an overview of the different stages of the EU policy-making cycle is presented, combined with opportunities for the submission of Better Regulation proposals. Furthermore, the Better Regulation Roadmap indicates which type of bottlenecks are appropriate for these distinct Better Regulation Agenda opportunities. The classification of bottlenecks into different categories was explained in step 5.
Better Regulation Roadmap
When you use the Better Regulation Roadmap and your framework table, you can assess which Better Regulation Agenda opportunities are available for the bottlenecks listed in your framework table.
Now that you are aware of the input opportunities available and have selected a digital venue to submit a Better Regulation proposal, you can move on to the last phase of the BRIGHT-Tool. In this phase, we will help you with proposing your bottlenecks through the Better Regulation input moments available!
To do: Match your bottleneck with the available Better Regulation Agenda opportunities.
The fourth and final phase of the BRIGHT-tool is about proposing your Better Regulation input. After identifying your bottlenecks, the corresponding legislation and the status of that legislation, the final phase will show you how and where to submit your input.
In other words: this is where theory will meet practice.
Input moments in the EU come in various shapes and sizes. Ever since the Better Regulation Agenda has been launched, official (public) consultations opportunities have become obligatory for almost every part of the EU policy cycle.
The Commission organizes these public consultations on two different websites: Have your Say and Consultations. Another website where stakeholder input is collected is Lighten the Load, which is where you can upload your submissions for the REFIT-platform.
The REFIT-platform is part of the Regulatory Fitness Program (REFIT). The Platform is made out of two different groups, the Stakeholder group and the Government Group. The purpose of the REFIT-Platform is to allow stakeholder input on EU legislation. Through it, you can upload your technical bottlenecks regarding EU legislation. Its mandate does not extend to the political, it can only incorporate technical or administrative issues. The adoption procedure of the REFIT-platform is a two-tier system. Opinions first have to be adopted by the Stakeholder group before they can proceed to the Government group.
The ‘Have your say’ website is used by the Commission for feedback on roadmaps, inception impact assessments, proposals and draft acts. This website allows you to have feedback on documents.
On this website, the Commission asks for input on Impact Assessments, evaluations and other finalized documents. This website allows you to have feedback on finalized documents.
On the website Lighten the Load, the Commission collects stakeholder input. These submissions are then scrutinized by the Commission and forwarded to the REFIT-platform.
Depending on the issue and the status of your legislation, your input should come in different forms. It’s wise to consult your experts again, in order to ensure that your input is up to par. The most common form of input in the EU is the position paper. Other forms could be: infographic, questionnaire, elevator pitch, seminar, fitness check evaluation (which are usually pretty intensive). The consultation strategy in the roadmap or inception impact assessment describes what kind of input the Commission will be looking for. This strategy also determines the form of open consultations.
Since the adoption of the BRA-package, the Commission is obligated to involve stakeholders in every step of the policy-cycle.
No matter which form of input you might choose, it is wise to also consult your experts.
The most common input type is the position paper. This can be uploaded through several beforementioned official public consultations. A few general guidelines for a position paper are:
- The size does not exceed two pages, in order to keep it manageable and readable;
- Your position has to be made clear and should (if possible) offer alternatives. These strengthen your position, because you’re delivering constructive input and showing how the legislation could be improved;
- If possible, statistics and data should be provided as attachments/annexes. Data always provides a foundation upon which your position paper can rely.
You could ask your experts to provide statistics and data, in order to substantiate your position paper.
Another way of input is in the form of an infographic. A good example is the BRIDGE-infographics. As you can see, the BRIDGE publication combines a clear infographic with information and alternatives in bullet points. Technical details and a more elaborate explanation can be added in an accompanying annex. You should draft the bullet points, infographic and alternatives in accordance with your experts. The combination of visual and textual elements gets your message across!
As discussed before, sometimes the Commission requests feedback through a questionnaire. These can consist of up to 20 questions and usually have a blank form where it is possible to submit a short outline of your position. Your experts can play an important role in this form of feedback. If they are up for it, you could assign different questions to different experts. Another approach could be to discuss the entire questionnaire in a focus group.
Depending on the consultation strategy, seminars or conferences are organised by the Commission to discuss and collect input. The Commission usually invites experts or stakeholders from a specific policy area to attend these conferences. This is once again a moment where your experts can play a role.
Congratulations, you’ve successfully finished the BRIGHT-tool!
Now, you should have gained some insight into how to identify, scale and address your bottlenecks with the Better Regulation Agenda.
An overview of mentioned theory modules during the Bright e-learning tool can be found in the Theory section of this website.
After completing the BRIGHT e-learning tool you can make use of the Quick Scan. The Quick Scan enables you to organise collected input regarding a potential EU regulatory bottleneck and identify possibilities within the Better Regulation Agenda.