Better regulation is an agenda of the European Commission, adopted in May 2015, which includes a comprehensive package of reforms covering the entire policy cycle with the leading priority to make the decision-making process in the EU more open and transparent, to improve the quality of new legislation through better regulatory impact assessments, and to promote constant and consistent evaluation of existing EU legislation so that EU policies achieve their objectives in the most effective and efficient way.
More transparent decision-taking
Another important priority of the better regulation agenda is the higher transparency and wider consultations with shareholders. Thus the Commission is determined to make the process of policy formulation open for more public control and participation online, through which initiatives can be tracked as well as by new public consultations when evaluations of existing policies are done or variants for new proposals are considered. New opportunities for stakeholder consultations throughout the policy cycle, from the Inception Roadmap to the final Commission proposal are also created. This transparent approach will apply to secondary legislation e.g. the form of delegated acts and implementing acts as well.
Better impact assessments and quality control
Key priority of the better regulation agenda is strengthening the Commission’s approach to impact assessments and ex-post evaluation in order to improve the evidence base which underpins all legislative proposals. The main proposal of the Commission is that impact assessments are conducted throughout the legislative process, not only for Commission proposals. The idea is that the European Parliament and Council should also carry out impact assessments of any substantial amendments they propose during the legislative process.
We must rigorously assess the impact
The First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said:
“We must rigorously assess the impact of legislation in the making, including substantial amendments introduced during the legislative process, so that political decisions are well-informed and evidence-based. And while the natural tendency of politicians is to focus on new initiatives, we must devote at least as much attention to reviewing existing laws and identifying what can be improved or simplified. We must be honest about what works and what doesn’t.”