NNR is actively involved in better regulation efforts, at both EU and OECD level. NNR sometimes acts independently at EU level, but it frequently acts through BusinessEurope. NNR participates in BusinessEurope’s Better Regulation Working Group. In wider international contexts, NNR also cooperates with the BIAC Governance and Regulatory Policy Committee, including participation in OECD Regulatory Policy Committee meetings.
OECD – the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The OECD is an international organisation which helps to promote principles and policy programmes to improve people’s economic and social well-being. OECD also acts as a forum for the governments and central government administrations of the 38 member states, where they can discuss and cooperate to find solutions to common issues and challenges. Further information on the OECD is available here.
The OECD’s Regulatory Policy Committee was created by the OECD Council in October 2009 to assist member states and non-member states in building and strengthening their regulatory reform efforts. The Committee’s efforts aim to support the work on improving the quality of regulations by assisting member states in finding tools and solutions for implementing policy decisions in the best possible manner. Further information on the Committee and OECD’s work on better regulation is available here.
From 2008 to 2010, the OECD reviewed the better regulation efforts in 15 EU member states. The result of the reviews was presented in country-specific reports as well as an overall report. The OECD report on better regulation in Sweden is available here.
The reviews resulted in the OECD and its members states preparing and adopting a new better regulation recommendation in 2012: the ‘Recommendation of the council on regulatory policy and governance’. The recommendation includes several sections that are important for businesses, including: all regulatory costs for businesses, whether direct or indirect, should be considered in impact assessments; consultations should be held with all stakeholders when new regulations are designed; there should be independent oversight bodies which help to review the quality of new regulatory proposals and impact assessments; a review of all existing regulations and their costs should be carried out continuously, so that regulations may be simplified and the regulatory cost of businesses may be reduced; there should be a systematic follow-up and evaluation of a regulation’s actual impact after its implementation; and alternatives, including non-regulatory alternatives, should always be considered in impact assessments. Further information on the recommendations is available here.
OECD’s recommendations are not legally binding, but they express the member states’ political desires and intentions, and it is expected that all member states make every effort to comply with the recommendations. For this reason, member states often refrain from voting when recommendations with which they do not intend to comply are adopted.
Every third year, the OECD follows up on how important elements of the recommendations have been implemented in the member states. The European Commission’s implementation is also reviewed.
The survey documents the member states’ (and the European Commission’s) efforts to improve the quality of legislation in line with the 2012 OECD Recommendation on Regulatory Policy and Governance and shares good law-making practices. The survey gives unique insights into the organisation of the procedures and the institutional environments in the countries associated with the drafting, application and revision of the regulations. It also highlights areas in the regulatory cycle that do not get sufficient attention from decision makers, identifies areas in which countries should invest to improve the quality of laws and regulations, and presents innovative methods for better legislation.
Areas that are followed up include regulatory impact assessments, stakeholder engagement and ex post evaluations. International regulatory cooperation, risk assessments and review and supervisory functions (regulatory oversight) are areas that are examined regularly. The result of the survey is presented in a report, the OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook. The report is based on responses provided by OECD member states and the European Commission to the OECD’s extensive questionnaire and on indicators that measure the regulations in these areas.
In addition to the follow-up on the OECD recommendation, the OECD also relies on peer reviews from different member states. These peer reviews are performed at the request of an individual member state for a more in-depth review of the whole or parts of the member state’s better regulation efforts and governance. The OECD also develops best practice principles in various areas as additional guidance to member states. Various working reports are also prepared by the OECD secretariat on topics raised for discussion by the Regulatory Policy Committee.
NNR works actively, via the BIAC, to provide feedback to the OECD before and during the preparation of the OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook and in connection with other work. NNR also contributes to the dissemination of information and discussions on the surveys by arranging seminars in Sweden.