Better Regulation Communication 2015
The Communication on Better Regulation for Better Results – An EU Agenda was issued in 2015 by the European Commission. This Communication was part of the so-called Better Regulation Package.
This package also included the better regulation guidelines, a toolbox, a Commission Communication on the new Inter-Institutional Agreement, various decisions on the REFIT-programme and the establishment of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board. Under the presidency of Juncker, the European Commission has made better regulation one of its priorities and provided First Vice President Timmermans with a specific mandate on better regulation and institutional relations.
Building upon previous experiences
The Communication on Better Regulation for Better Results builds on the progress the Commission had already made with impact assessments and the REFIT programme. It also outlines further measures to commit better regulation to the everyday work of the Commission. By further opening up policy-making and interacting better with those that implement and benefit from EU legislation, the Commission aims to produce higher quality legislative proposals and to ensure that existing rules deliver important societal goals more effectively.
The actions the Commission announced in the Communication can be structured around three themes: actions relating to further including stakeholders in the lawmaking process, actions to achieve better law-making, and actions to improve existing laws.
The Commission has published two follow-up communications in 2016 and 2017 to the Better Regulation Communication.
To contribute to openness and transparency
To establish a web portal where every legislative initiative can be tracked-
This web portal has not been established yet. In the 2017 Commission Communication on Better Regulation, Completing the Better Regulation Agenda: Better solutions for better results, is mentioned that the Commission, together with the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers has developed and is taking forward a plan for a new joint interinstitutional web-based portal to improve the transparency of the legislative process. The Commission’s webpage Track law-making mentions that, currently, the best way to track the status of legislative initiatives is through the website EUR-Lex.
To enable stakeholders to express their views in every stage of the EU policy process
- at the start of a new EU initiative – through the publishing of roadmaps and inception impact assessments;
- when preparing new legislative proposals – through a twelve week feedback period;
- after the adoption of a legislative proposal by the Commission – through the possibility for national parliaments to provide a reasoned opinion on subsidiarity (Early-warning-system);
- after the adoption of a proposal by the European Commission – through an eight-week feedback period for stakeholders;
- the possibility to provide feedback to draft delegated acts.
Furthermore, the explanatory memorandum of Commission proposals is expanded, by including the results of these better regulation instruments to better explain the Commission proposal.
The establishment of the REFIT platform
The REFIT Platform was established in 2015 and gives recommendations to the European Commission on the basis of input from European citizens, social partners and individual businesses to existing EU legislation. The platform has already adopted several opinions across many policy areas. Every year, the European Commission reports back on the follow-up that has been given to Platform recommendations in the Commission Working Programme.
To create better tools for better policies
Establishing new guidelines on Better Regulation-
These guidelines were published alongside the Better Regulation Communication as part of the 2015 Better Regulation Package. The guidelines were accompanied by a so-called Toolbox, which provided additional guidance to assist European Commission officials in the application of Better Regulation principles.
The guidelines and Toolbox were reviewed in 2017, to include all issues covered by the Inter-Institutional Agreement on Better Law-Making, such as recast, codification, “cost of non-Europe”, monitoring and evaluation of legal provisions.
Transform the Impact Assessment Board (IAB) into a new Regulatory Scrutiny Board (RSB)-
Contrary to IAB, the RSB will also check major evaluations and “fitness checks” of existing legislation.
The Regulatory Scrutiny Board was established by Commission Decision on the 19th of May 2015.
To call upon the European Parliament and Council of Ministers to start negotiations on a new Inter-Institutional Agreement on Better Law-Making-
This Inter-Institutional Agreement (IIA) was adopted April 13th 2016 and replaced the previous IIA on Better Law-Making of 2003.
To actively manage and refresh the existing stock of EU legislation
Strengthen the REFIT-programme-
- Targeted – by focusing on the most serious sources of inefficiency and unnecessary burdens;
- Quantitative – estimates of the potential benefits and cost savings will accompany each REFIT proposal;
- Inclusive – by establishing the REFIT Platform, which offers a source of suggestions to improve EU laws;
- Embedded in political decision-making – REFIT features in each year’s Commission working programme and in the Commission’s political dialogue with the other EU institutions before and after the adoption of the work programme.
Furthermore, the Commission called upon the European Parliament and Council to give strong backing to initiatives designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the existing stock of legislation.
Other initiatives the Commission is undertaking to reduce administrative burdens-
This varies from executing reviews and evaluations to simplifying procedures and repealing outdated legislation. In regard to Member states, the Commission is committed to keep cooperating to ensure compliance with EU law on the national level, for instance on the transposition of EU directives.
Finally, the Commission has stated to continue its work on the simplification of the management of EU funds, to reduce administrative burdens. The progress of this can be monitored through the Administrative Simplification Scoreboard.