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 October 2015 sent 44 proposals for improvement of EU-legislation to the first vice president of the EU-commission Frans Timmermans who is the responsible commissioner for the work of the Commission on Better Regulation.

The NNR has also in July 2016 on behalf of its member the Federation of Swedish Farmers sent another three proposals to the Refit Platform. The proposals is an input to the Commission in its work on REFIT (the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme) and to the work of the Refit Platform.

A table of contents of the proposals is available here.

The full proposals are available here.

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

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 Business Europe. 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 formation of opinion and lobbying towards the Commission, Parliament and the Council the Better Regulation Working Group seeks to ensure that better regulation tools, such as impact assessments, effective stakeholder participation, and comprehensive burden reduction programmes, are used by all decision-makers to cut red tape and devise proportionate legislation. More information about Business Europe’s agenda for Better Regulation is available here, https://www.businesseurope.eu/policies/better-regulation/better-regulation-agenda.

In September, 2015 Business Europe presented a position paper ”Better regulation for better results – An EU agenda” with its views and recommendations regarding the Commission’s Better Regulation Package. The NNR has through its participation in the Better Regulation Working Group contributed to these views and proposals. More information about the position paper is available here, https://www.businesseurope.eu/sites/buseur/files/media/position_papers/internal_market/2015-09-16_better_regulation_package.pdf.

Business Europe has over the years produced a number of position papers on Better Regulation including one on avoiding gold-plating. Please see, https://www.businesseurope.eu/publications/avoiding-gold-plating-well-functioning-single-market.

The recommendation coincides at large with what has been highlighted by the NNR in its report “Clarifying gold-plating- Better Implementation of EU-legislation”.