All ahead for Better Regulation
May 22nd, 2015
Brussels: the European Commission this week (19th May) published its Better Regulation Package, including a communication, guidelines, a toolbox for implementation and several other proposals. From our point of view the package represents a far-reaching initiative that provides a useful blueprint as to how the Juncker Commission aims to develop policy and legislation.
The systematic process of Roadmaps/Inception IAs, consultation and presentation of evidence in both primary and secondary legislation will provide enhanced opportunity for stakeholders to provide input at all stages. The announced web portal should allow for easier access to an understanding of legislative initiatives throughout their lifetime. The Better Regulation Package provides, in principle, for greater transparency for all interested parties and more opportunities for expert information and opinions to be taken into account in the policy making process. In practice, it will also mean those parties will have to make a greater effort to follow, understand and contribute to the development of legislation.
Complementing the greater openness, the founding of the new Regulatory Scrutiny Board should provide more independent oversight on prospective legislation. In particular, its three independent board members will inject an element of impartiality into its operations and enhance its ability to assess the value of proposed policies.
We welcome in particular the plan to introduce "Inception Impact Assessments" at the earliest stage of the legislative process. These will provide an early indication of the evidence used in policy making and therefore offer an advanced opportunity for the stakeholder community to scrutinise and complement this evidence.
We also welcome the general tone of openness to outside scrutiny. The Commission has explicitly stated that in the new system that they are "...open to external feedback and external scrutiny to ensure we get it right." We are delighted at the acknowledgement that a truly effective regime for policy making includes the recognition that external scrutiny of evidence provides added value to the legislative exercise since it perfectly covers the purpose of the Impact Assessment Institute.
The key to success of the new Better Regulation Framework is in its implementation and in particular, how external scrutiny and contradictory evidence are taken into account. In cooperation with the European Commission and all interested stakeholders, the Impact Assessment Institute commits itself to making a productive and impartial contribution to Better Regulation through the robustness of its governance and the credibility of its activities.