On 20.03.2017 a conference took place at the European Commission in Brussels, where the RSB 2016 Annual Report was presented. The First Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for better regulation in EU Frans Timmermans opened the event. In his opening remarks he underlined the significance and the necessity from better regulation. He acknowledged the advances made in embedding better regulation into the work of the European Commission, but also noted that there is a lot to be done for further improving of public consultations, as well as for development of a proper monitoring framework of better regulation and reviewing it in 2018. As a main challenge Mr. Timmermans outlined “the crisis of evidence and facts” which is a result from the attitudes which are being imposed globally where in the clash between emotions and facts emotions often take the advantage. That is why it is necessary to find a new way for communicating the complex research done in the frame of better regulation, in order to convince the skeptical citizens in their significance. A welcome address and a presentation of the RSB 2016 Annual Report was made by the Chair of the RSB Ms. Anne Bucher.

During Panel I of the conference the state of play of impact assessment as a tool for better regulation was discussed. Presentations were made by the Director-General of the European Parliamentary Research Service Mr. Anthony Teasdale, the Chair of the Regulatory Policy Division of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Mr. Nikolai Malyshev and others.

Panel II was dedicated to the evidence-based impact assessment. Moderator of the panel was the Chairman of the Nationaler Normenkontrollrat, Germany Mr. Johannes Ludewig. Panelists were also Ms. Tracey Brown, Director of ‘Sense about Science’ – a charity that promotes the understanding and the use of scientific evidence and challenges its misinterpretation; Dr. Claudio Radaelli, “Jean Monnet”, Professor in Political Science and Political Economy, Director of the Centre for European Governance at the University of Exeter and others.

The closing panel focused on regulatory scrutiny and its challenges in practice. Short presentations were made by Ms. Anne Bucher – Chair of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board, Prof. Jirina Jilkova – Chair of the Regulatory Impact Assessment Board in the Czech Republic and others. The Conference ended with the closing remarks of Mr. Jean-Eric Paquet – Deputy Secretary General of the European Commission, responsible for Better Regulation and Policy Coordination (economic governance, internal market and competitiveness, resource efficiency and employment, education and social policies).

Representatives of the Center for regulatory impact assessment in Bulgaria had the pleasure to be part of the conference upon the special invitation from the Secretariat of RSB.

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