”Smart Regulation Symposium” i Bryssel 13 oktober

Speakers from left: Benoit le Bret, former Head of Cabinet Commissioner Jaques Barrot and now partner international law firm, Malcolm Harbour MEP, Chairman Committee for Internal Market & Consumer protection of EP, Jens Hedström, VD, NNR & Chariman BusinessEurope WG Better Regulation, Marianne Klingbeil, Head of Unit EU-kommissionen för Better Regulation, ordf. Impact Assessment Board, Johannes Ludewig, Chief Executive CER, member high-level “Stoiber Group” & Chariman Nationaler Regulatory Control Council and Jaroslaw Pietras, Director General in the Council for Climate change, Health & Consumers.


BE Symposium: Devising Smart Regulation in the EU

Bavarian Representation 13 October 2010.

Meeting notes Philippe Portalier, Orgalime


Philippe de Buck DG BusinessEurope

Intelligent and cost-effective solutions for clearly identified problems and policy priorities are important.

We praise a lot the improvements on IA. But “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement”.

However still no changes perceived by business. Better regulation is central to competitiveness. Smart solutions. Less burdensome to companies is what we are expecting.

Catherine Day, SG Commission

Important topic on the way the EU interacts with its citizens and business.

We have come a long way since the situation 5 years ago. Changing culture in the Commission. The economics of the last 2 years has shown that legislation has its role to play. And that it works. The recent audit of the Court of Auditors recently published is probably the most comprehensive assessment of an IA system.

It confirmed that it is benefactor to our proposals. 85% of the consulted experts stated that the EC system is effective and lead to better proposals. The IAB contribute to the overall effectiveness of the system. The fact that the Board sends back one out of 3 proposal shows that it works well. Shows that the Commission makes well-researched, scientific-based proposals.

Our Agenda is of simplification, modernisation and smarter legislation.

Smart legislation: we need to include the whole cycle from design to actual implementation of a policy proposal; the next phase is to go beyond the ex-ante work. It is very important new field of work for the Commission. We will also carry out comprehensive fitness-checks in some policy areas. We need also to complete the administrative burden reduction programme that the Stoiber group has initiated.

Smart regulation needs shared responsibility between the 3 institutions.

We look forward to see EP and Council carry out an IA when they introduce significant changes to an EC proposal. We believe that it is important that this culture goes also to EP and Council. Otherwise, we are only going half way. It is a very serious issue.

Consultation. Consulting stakeholder gives us access to a wealth of expertise, test ideas, etc.. we want to go ahead. We are starting to publish more roadmaps, also on some comitology decisions.

Publication of roadmaps is a early warning for stakeholders to react on what legislation is coming. We want to extent the consultation to 12 weeks. We believe it will help the quality of responses that we collect from stakeholders.

All the process of better regulation is very much of a two-way street. Get involved from the early stage to help us do better.

Discussion panel. Jens Hedström (Business Europe)

Does the EU legislative system devise intelligent and cost-effective solutions for clearly identified problems?

We need evaluation of the effect of regulation afterwards.

Benoit Lebret (ex-Commission), Gide Loyrette Nouel

Despite being a lawyer, in favour of better regulation ;-). Consensus has a price, the price of complexity. A responsibility for industry. IA brings more professionalism and make the EC stronger against lobbying and its work more transparent.

Malcolm Harbour, EP IMCO Chair / EPP

Q: Recommendation from the Court of Auditor: shared responsibility. Few efforts made from the EP

Malcolm Harbour: we had the resources in the IMCO to do such additional IA.

Whole approach: EP is entitled to do add IA and should do it. At the moment it is vested with the legal affairs committee (narrow approach). We are talking of a process of changing the mindset of a public administration. Smart operations should demonstrate where legislation is needed or not.

IMCO already decided to use IA as a core resource. Looking at the calendar. EP to make recommendations on the operation of the EC proposals. This is Parliament engaged in the process. Business people know the importance to run a well-designed process. EC not ambitious enough.

Marianne Klingbeil, EC Director for Better Regulation.

From better to smart regulation: rebranding is always difficult.

Better: ad hoc proposals. Smart means that the whole body of legislation is meeting the objectives of legislation. Are they to – burdensome?, shall we revise them?

New legislation is important. But industry does not see the difference. Some legislation is no more needed. I do not mean deregulation but streamlined regulation. This requires more involvement from stakeholders. How to reach small and medium sized companies.

National impact assessments better connected to our system of impact assessment. We cannot deliver a full picture of implementation for 27 MS.

Johannes Ludewig, Director CER, Member of the Stoiber Group

In our experience in Germany, the unanimous view today, the review of existing legislation today is much more important than looking into the stock of legislation.

What are the costs going along with that? This is the key point. Compliance costs, and not only the administrative burden are now taken into account in the analysis of the German body of legislation.

Lot of progress made in Brussels. But may be progress is further needed on

  • not enough quantification;

  • too long (not more than 50 pages) with 2 pages in a standardised page to summarise the content.

Jaroslaw Pietras, DG of DG I of the Council

Experience of the Council? Environment legislation is very much focusing on the impact of the law in the term of achieving the policy objectives. When we discuss the WEEE and the RoHS a lot of ministries look at preventing too much effect on their way of working. Council is a meeting of ministers. IA is brought to the table by the Presidency.

We are doing plenty of work on consistency of the law: how clear it is in relationship with other existing pieces of legislation. We are in a system where legislation deserves codification: some laws resemble to an onion with all its layers.

About more involvement of stakeholders:

Harbour: EP has a role to play. Small enterprises have no time to respond to inquiries. It is important that they do not discover too late what legislation would discover the legislation. May be a pending process where business could sign on would be useful.

Ludewig: We would like the process of consultation of stakeholders improved. Too detailed. The devil is in the detail. The Commission is missing a huge opportunity. There is never a discussion on the ex-post evaluation of a proposal. The Commission would be extremely strong if the consultation would be more effective with the EC to ensure that all stakeholders acknowledge the outcome of the process.

Klingbeil: on air quality, consultation took about one year. It is for months that roadmaps are on the Web, you can state it.

You have a draft and calculate the costs, like in the UK. We have 5 options. We cannot anticipate the changes during the transposition of EU directives. We have also the subsidiarity checks, which do not exist in national IA. We are much more up stream.

Ludewig: transparency is extremely powerful. I would publish the draft of the law and the first IA study, than I would be much stronger in my proposals.

Le Bret: we could also improve the fairness of the debate. The more the lobbyists are powerful, the more the EC proposal is twisted at the last stage. I would start the Council to start to apply qualified majority and ass the cost of not doing it. Delegated acts are increasing the powers of the Commission: they are qualified for IAs.

Pietras: we nee much simpler and predictable legislative framework and consistency between different pieces of the law.

Mrs Klingbeil: web sites, consultation, questionnaires need to be more digestible. Companies want also a feedback, even if their views were not taken into account. All countries should do an IA on EC proposals too.



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