On the 19th of May, 2015 the Commission presented its Better Regulation Package with first vice president Frans Timmermans as responsible commissioner. The package contains suggestions and initiatives which aim to increase transparency and engagement with stakeholders, create higher demands that impact assessments be carried out on new proposals and that these are of high quality. The Commission has also established more independent scrutiny of impact assessments with the replacement of the Impact Assessment Board by the new Regulatory Scrutiny Board. Central for the implementation of the Better Regulation Package is the new Inter-institutional Agreement on Better Regulation between the Commission, the Parliament and the Council. The aim of the agreement is to increase the quality and result of the EU-legislation. The agreement stipulates that besides the Commission work on impact assessments also the Parliament and the Council should carry out impact assessments on larger changes of proposed legislation. The Commission has furthermore produced new guidance for all stages, from preparatory work and adoption to implementation, evaluation and review. An update of the guidelines as well as of the better regulation tool-box was presented in July 2017.
The package also focusses on increased transparency and extended consultation and leaves increased possibilities to stakeholders to leave input earlier in the legislative process.
The Commission has furthermore produced minimum standards for consultation and works to influence responsible Directorates to prepare a consultation strategy for larger initiatives outlining which stakeholders to approach and the most appropriate way to consult in the matter concerned.
With the aim to simplify the existing legislation the Commission has initiated a special advisory group, the so-called Refit Platform, to perform an on-going dialogue with the EU-member states and the stakeholders on how EU-legislation can be improved. The platform consists of two groups; the government group – with one representative from each EU member state, the stakeholder group – with representatives of business, social partners and civil society, European Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions. On the Commission’s website “Lighten the load – Have your say” stakeholders are invited to make proposals, leave their views and practical experiences that the Commission can use as ground for the simplification work within the Refit Platform.
The Board of Swedish Industry and Commerce for Better Regulation has on behalf of its members in total sent 56 proposals for improvement of EU-legislation to the Refit platform. The proposals have been submitted at four occasions between 2015 and 2018. The proposals for improvement provide input to the Commission in its work on REFIT (the EU Commission´s Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme) and are discussed within the Refit Platform.
All proposals are available on the links below.
More information on the work of the Commission on Better Regulation including the above mentioned parts is available here, https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-making-process/planning-and-proposing-law/better-regulation-why-and-how_en
BUSINESSEUROPE is the largest general business organisation at EU-level and represent all-sized enterprises in 34 European countries whose national business federations are direct members to BusinessEurope. Its main task is to ensure that the voice of business is heard in European policy- making with the aim of strengthening business competitiveness and growth. Business Europe is also a recognized social partner on the EU-level and hence works for a well-functioning European labor market. More information about Business Europe is available here, http://www.businesseurope.eu.
BUSINESS EUROPE has seven policy committees within the areas Economic & Financial Affairs , Entrepreneurship & SME, Industrial Affairs, Internal Market, International Relations, Legal Affairs and Social Affairs. Each policy committee has a number of working groups in which issues are discussed and material for common decisions and strategies are prepared. The NNR is a member of the working group Better Regulation. Through lobbying towards the Commission, the Parliament and the Council the Better Regulation Working Group seeks to ensure that better regulation tools, such as impact assessments, effective stakeholder participation, evaluations and comprehensive burden reduction programmes, are used by all decision-makers to cut red tape and devise proportionate legislation. More information about BusinessEurope’s agenda for Better Regulation is available here, https://www.businesseurope.eu/policies/better-regulation/better-regulation-agenda.
BusinessEurope has over the years produced a number of position pappers on Better Regulation. In response to the Commission´s stocktaking exercise on its Better Regulation approach the last four years BusinessEurope has in July and August 2018 presented six different position pappers. These concern Impact Assessments and Regulatory Scrutiny Board, Public stakeholder consultations, Transparent transposition, Evaluations and fitness checks, the Refit Platform and Transparency of triloues. The NNR has through its participation in the Better Regulation Working Group contributed to these views and proposals. All position papers on Better Regulation are available here, https://www.businesseurope.eu/sites/buseur/files/media/position_papers/internal_market/2015-09-16_better_regulation_package.pdf.
In addition to the above Business Europe in 2013.
Presented a position papper on avoiding gold-plating. Please see, https://www.businesseurope.eu/publications/avoiding-gold-plating-well-functioning-single-market.
The recommendations coincides at large with what has been highlighted by the NNR in its 2012 report “Clarifying gold-plating- Better Implementation of EU-legislation”.