Europe

2021-04-29

Better Regulation: Joining forces to make better EU laws and to prepare for the future

The Commission has today adopted a Communication on Better Regulation, proposing several improvements to the EU law-making process. To foster Europe's recovery, it is more important than ever to legislate as efficiently as possible, while making EU laws better adapted to tomorrow's needs.

Maroš Šef?ovi?, Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, said: “The Commission already has one of the best Better Regulation systems in the world but we still need to do more. Therefore, we are stepping up efforts to simplify EU legislation and reduce its burden, while making better use of strategic foresight and supporting sustainability and digitalisation. To succeed, however, all stakeholders must work together on high-quality EU policymaking that will translate into a stronger, more resilient Europe.''

Cooperation among the EU institutions, with Member States and stakeholders, including social partners, businesses and civil society, is key. To help face current and future challenges, the Commission has proposed the following actions:

• Removing obstacles and red tape that slow down investments and building of 21st century infrastructure, working with Member States, regions and key stakeholders.

• Simplifying public consultations by introducing a single ‘Call for Evidence', on the improved Have Your Say portal.

• Introducing a ‘one in, one out' approach, to minimise burdens for citizens and businesses by paying special attention to the implications and costs of applying legislation, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. This principle ensures that any newly introduced burdens are offset by removing equivalent burdens in the same policy area.

• Mainstreaming the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure that all legislative proposals contribute to the 2030 sustainable development agenda.

• Improving the way in which Better Regulation addresses and supports sustainability and digital transformation.

• Integrating strategic foresight into policymaking to ensure it is fit for the future, by for instance, taking into account emerging megatrends in the green, digital, geopolitical and socio-economic contexts.




Next steps

Better Regulation is a shared objective and responsibility of all EU institutions. We will reach out to the European Parliament and the Council regarding their efforts to assess and monitor the impact of EU legislation and EU spending programmes. In addition, we will cooperate more closely with local, regional and national authorities, and social partners on EU policymaking.

Some of the new elements of this Communication have already started in practice, such as the work of the Fit for Future Platform, which provides advice on ways to make EU legislation easier to comply with, efficient and fit for the future. Others will be implemented in the coming months. This year will see, among other things:

• The 2020 Annual Burden Survey, outlining the results of the Commission's burden reduction efforts.

• The revised Better Regulation guidelines and toolbox to take into account the new elements of the Communication, providing concrete guidance to European Commission services when preparing new initiatives and proposals as well as when managing and evaluating existing

Background

The Commission carried out a stocktaking of its better regulation agenda in 2019, confirming that the system is broadly functioning well, while needing improvements to reflect experience.

The EU has a long history on evidence-based policymaking, including reducing regulatory burdens, starting in 2002. It includes regular evaluations of existing laws, a very advanced system of impact assessment, a top of the class stakeholders' consultation approach and a comprehensive burden reduction programme (REFIT).




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