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.