Completing the Better Regulation Agenda

25 Oct 2017 10:59 AM

The European Commission yesterday set out how we can complete our Better Regulation Agenda.

Yesterday's review analyses the reforms put in place to ensure that policy-making is priority-driven, evidence-based, transparent and effective and details the next steps to be taken. Better Regulation underpins the Commission's work to deliver on President Juncker's 10 political priorities, ensuring that the Commission acts only where the EU brings added value, and does so in the least burdensome way possible.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans yesterday said: "Today's world is fraught with complex policy challenges. More than ever before, we must be sure that our policies are rooted in facts and evidence, developed in maximum transparency and decided with full accountability. The European Commission's Better Regulation Agenda is about giving ourselves and our stakeholders the tools to do this."

The Commission's review of its Better Regulation Agenda finds that the new tools put in place provide a solid basis for timely and sound policy decisions. More extensive engagement with the public, systematic evaluation, high quality impact assessments, and a strengthened 'REFIT' approach haveallowed for improved appraisal of new proposals and existing legislation. This approach forces policy-makers as well as stakeholders to argue on the basis of evidence and expected impacts. It is further complemented by a new approach to enforcement to ensure swift and effective compliance with adopted laws.

Reducing unnecessary costs without compromising on policy objectives

While reaching any policy objective entails costs, these should of course be kept to a minimum. The Commission continuously proposes the elimination of unnecessary regulatory costs on the basis of case-by-case evaluations in consultation with those carrying the burdens and benefitting from EU legislation.

In line with the commitment in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making, the Commission has assessed alternative approaches to burden reduction, including fixing burden reduction objectives in specific sectors. Based on its analysisthe Commission will present information on simplification costs and benefits more consistently in its evaluations and impact assessments, step up its efforts to quantify such effectsand present a burden reduction objective for each proposal to revise legislation wherever possible.

Embedding Better Regulation in the Commission's DNA

The Better Regulation Agenda adopted in 2015 was a comprehensive set of reforms covering the entire policy cycle, intended to boost openness and transparency in the EU decision-making process, improve the quality of new laws through better impact assessments of draft legislation and amendments, and promote constant and consistent review of existing EU laws so that they achieve their objectives in the most effective and efficient way.

Much has been achieved, and the Commission will continue to improve its better regulation policy and embed it in the Commission's DNA. This will include an overall assessment of how the Better Regulation Agenda has been implemented before the end of this Commission mandate.


The Political Guidelines of President Juncker, on the basis of which the Parliament elected this Commission, made a clear commitment to better regulation. In addition to internal reforms, the Commission presented and successfully negotiated a new Interinstitutional Agreement with the European Parliament and the Council to update and strengthen the common understanding in relation to better regulation.

For more information

Completing the Better Regulation Agenda: Better solutions for better results

Staff Working Document on the Union's Efforts to Simplify and to Reduce Regulatory Burden

The REFIT Scoreboard and REFIT Scoreboard Summary

Flash Eurobarometer on business perceptions of regulation and Targeted Survey of REFIT Platform Members 

Better Regulation Factsheet (13 September, 2017)

The REFIT Programme

The REFIT Platform

IIA on Better Law-Making

Contribute to law-making website

Lighten the Load Portal

Press release on the Better Regulation Agenda

Memo on the Better Regulation Agenda

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