This independent blog collects news about projects or achievements in regulatory reform / better regulation. It is edited by Charles H. Montin. All opinions expressed are given on a personal basis.
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22 February 2010

ECOFIN renews support to smart regulation

From the European Council ECOFIN meeting 16 Feb.: "the Council (also) reiterates its support for the market monitoring and smart regulation initiatives to deepen the Single Market in the EU2020 Strategy with a modern evidence-based tool kit." See press release (CHM)

Update on French simplification programme

The minister in charge, Mr Woerth gives a status report on recent measures, and an update on the programme launched last October. Most of the measures are based on the extension of e-gov facilities (CHM)

12 February 2010

Better Regulation in EU 2020

For 10 years, better regulation has been one of the main tools to support the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs. With EU 2020 strategy designed as a successor to the current Lisbon strategy, what is going to happen to the BR agenda in the next decade? We now have some indications, thanks to the Lisbon evaluation and the feedback from the consultation campaign.
The evaluation document concludes that the improvement of the regulatory framework has reduced burdens and made Europe a better place to do business than in 2000. There has been a shift in regulatory culture but much remains to be done, for instance complete the 25% reduction in administrative burdens  by 2012 to unlock the business potential.

The first overview of the well over 1500 contributions to the consultation of interested parties shows broad support for the continued search for better regulation and reduced burdens in support of  a "competitive, connected and greener economy. The main shift may be the reinforcement of the EU's "social profile". For a brief description of the future of BR as seen by the member states, the Council conclusions adopted at the 3-4 December 2009 Competitiveness Council have just been published: MS call for "new instruments and better use of eGovernment in the better regulation work", and taking into account compliance costs and perceptions of the effects of regulatory requirements.

CH MONTIN (Brussels)

10 February 2010

Helpful contributions from think tanks

Think tanks, which can offer a degree of independence vis-à-vis regulators, have made significant contributions to the development of regulatory quality. Here are four I have recently noticed (my thanks to L. Allio).
  • The "Reg-Markets Center" is officially the AEI Center for Regulatory and Market Studies. It was established in 2008 as the successor to the AEI-Brookings Joint Center. A primary aim of the Reg-Markets Center is "to gain a deeper understanding of how markets, laws and regulation contribute to economic well-being. The Center will be an independent voice in policy debates". Its site comprises a good library of articles on regulatory reform.
  • Regulation2 point O: "a site that aggregates the latest working papers, Congressional and agency testimony, web and print media commentary and the like on regulation, along with blogs by us and by guest contributors. In a phrase: one-stop browsing on the key regulatory issues of the day for both professionals and the interested public". It is a good source of information about the American approach and results to regulatory reform.
  • Open Europe claims to be "an independent think tank contributing bold new thinking to the debate about the direction of the EU". Its blog has a "better regulation" category of posts, comprising currently only one item: "100 most costly regulations"
  • The Centre for Progressive Reform is a nonprofit research and educational organisation with a network of member scholars working to protect health, safety and the environment through analysis and commentary. Their site offers a section on the use of regulatory tools to address the "regulatory mess", with an emphasis on American issues. CH MONTIN (Brussels)

02 February 2010

After the launch of the forum...

Thank you to all those who have sent a word of encouragement, it strengthens my resolve to update for colleagues and friends this "central entry point" for all RQ issues. One of the most useful items for our network is to collect info about upcoming events: so here are a few that I have noticed:

Helsinki, 1-2 March 2010 Conference organised by the Finnish national research institute on public policy, on the theme: "Better Regulations : A Critical Assessment"
Brussels, 15-16/Mar/2010 Seminar in EIPA on "Better Regulation in the EU Today: Key Principles, Concepts and Practices"

Recent interesting comment on developments in the Commission: Jacques Pelkmans on "Who drafts better EU legislation?" which analyses possible effects of structural reshuffle (especially move of Pharma legislation to DG SANCO) on the quality of EU drafts.

Any other interesting material to share with the network?
CH MONTIN (Brussels)