NNR Newsletter 2011

Full Steam Ahead!

With mornings enveloped in autumn mist and everyone back from summer holidays, it is full steam ahead again for better regulation. This is true in Sweden as well as internationally.

The Swedish Government has decided to widen the scope of its simplification programme. There will now be consideration of compliance and indirect costs of regulation and efforts to tackle regulatory burdens at regional and local level.

NNR would like this work to result in measures such as shorter handling times and a ’one-way-in’ to local authorities for business. This is what business is asking for. The Swedish Better Regulation Council has also been given a stronger mandate, which includes an advisory and scrutiny role in terms of national impact assessments of EU legislative proposals.

Internationally, NNR and BusinessEurope welcome developments over the summer in the European Parliament. The adoption of resolutions on guaranteeing independent impact assessments and on better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation shows a new interest in better regulation issues among MEPs. This is an important step towards a culture change in the Parliament.
Read more about these and other better regulation developments below.

Jens Hedström
President, NNR

MEPs Adopt Resolutions on Reducing Regulatory Burdens

In June, the European Parliament adopted a resolution (2010/20(INI)) on guaranteeing independent impact assessments (IAs). Among some of the more important points in the resolution are that IAs should be made of significant amendments to legislative proposals and Committees should make more consistent use of Parliamentary IAs. NNR also welcomes the stress on more transparency and involvement of external stakeholders in the development of IAs, as well as on ex-post evaluation to assess if the objectives of a law have actually been achieved.

On 14 September, Parliament voted on the ’Karim report’ on better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation (resolution 2011/2029(INI)). The report acknowledges both achievements of the European Commission and shortcomings of the Parliament. It contains important recommendations for new targets and enhanced scope of regulatory burden reduction programmes.

NNR is pleased that the Parliament is now taking a more active role in the work to reduce regulatory burdens stemming from EU legislation. We will continue to monitor this process.

Symposium – Devising Smart Regulation in the EU

On 20 October BUSINESSEUROPE and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) are hosting a symposium on how to devise smart regulation in the EU. The symposium will bring together speakers from the executive and legislative bodies of the EU. The introductory statement will be made by Catherine Day, European Commission Secretary General.

For further information about the programme and how to register, please visit BusinessEurope’s website on: http://www.businesseurope.eu/content/default.asp?PageID=587

Better Regulation at Regional and Local Level

NNR has long argued that efforts to bring about regulatory simplification must be made in central, regional and local government simultaneously. It is mostly in their contacts with officials at regional and local level that businesses encounter regulatory burdens first hand.

NNR has published four reports in its series on better regulation at local level in Sweden. The reports cover business points of access to local authorities, alcohol licenses, fees for registration of environmentally hazardous operations and routines for inspection, and building permits. The purpose of the reports is to highlight problematic areas and opportunities for local authorities to improve their implementation and enforcement of business regulations.

Summaries of the four reports are available on our website: 
Business Point of Access to the Local Authority
Alcohol Licences
Environmentally Hazardous Operations
Building Permits

NNR is also pleased that the Swedish Government has listened to our suggestions and decided to extend its simplification programme to include the regional and local level. Priority will be given to parts of the implementation and enforcement processes that businesses find most burdensome.

Facts about Regulations 2011

Every year, NNR publishes a pocket-sized guide to regulation in Sweden Facts about Regulations. The guide gives an easy overview of how the regulatory burden on business develops over time. This year’s edition includes, for example, the results from NNR’s annual survey of business perceptions of regulation. The latest survey was carried out in April and May 2011. The full results from the survey will be included in this year’s NNR annual report The Swedish Agenda for Rules and Regulations 2011.

Facts about Regulations 2011 is available in pdf-format on our website: https://nnr.se/inenglish/publications/facts-about-regulations-2011.html

Our annual report The Swedish Agenda for Rules and Regulations 2010 is also available on our website: https://nnr.se/inenglish/publications.html

Stronger Mandate for the Swedish Better Regulation Council

The Swedish Better Regulation was set up in 2008 and has since scrutinized the quality of impact assessments, as well as the impact of new regulatory proposals on business. The Swedish Government has now decided to give the Council a stronger mandate. Its responsibilities have been extended to include, for example, scrutiny of impact assessments related to EU legislation. The Council will also be able to comment on impact assessments before they are published along with consultation documents. This brings the Council’s work more in line with its European counterparts the German Nationaler Normenkontrollrat , Dutch Actal and the Regulatory Policy Committee in the UK.

Further information about the Better Regulation Council is available on its website: http://www.regelradet.se

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