On January 23-24, around 80 experts from EU countries and institutions, the OECD, academia and business met in Stockholm to discuss how competitiveness and growth can be promoted through a better legislative process. The Regulatory Council and RegWatchEurope were represented by Anna-Lena Bohm, chairperson.
It was established that more and more laws are being passed in more areas, and also at an ever faster pace. This means that various regulations increasingly overlap each other and become more difficult to both interpret and apply. The fact that decision-makers are keen to show action through quick measures often means that exceptions to regular routines for impact assessment, consultation and evaluation are made. Taken together, these trends lead to a lower quality of legislation and a negative impact on companies’ competitiveness.
Among the conclusions it can be mentioned that better, evidence-based impact assessments in connection with rulemaking and more systematic evaluations of existing regulations after some time are necessary tools to ensure that rules are continuously fit for purpose and do not entail higher costs than necessary. Consultation with stakeholders throughout the policy cycle, and the importance of feedback, is also a key factor. Various aspects of incentives and proportionality were highlighted and the importance of independent scrutiny was underlined.
The conference, “Directors and Experts of Better Regulation” (DEBR), is a recurring conference organized by each EU presidency.