22nd May 2015

Politics: EC unveils its Better Regulation Agenda

On 19 May, the European Commission published yet another of its big strategies, this time the one dealing with cutting red tape. Delivering on the promise of the Juncker Commission to be “big on big things and small on small things”, the EU executive unveiled its plan to regulate in a more transparent and effective manner. The strategy promises that future Commission public consultations will be made even more public – they will all be accessible through a single portal, with every EU citizen having 8 weeks to send feedback to a proposed piece of legislation. Also, this consultations will not be held only for the “big” directives and regulations (equivalents of laws), but also for the so-called delegated and implementing ones (the more technical ones, equivalents of governmental and ministerial decrees). However, the main attention is centered around the so-called impact assessments – analyses evaluating the proposed pieces of legislation in terms of their effects on the economy, on the environment and so on. The impact assessment process will be strengthened, inter alia by giving more independence to the Commission´s impact assessment board. Most importantly, though, the Commission launched negotiations with the Council and with the European Parliament with the aim to conclude as soon as possible an inter-institutional agreement that would require also the co-legislators to provide impact assessments for the amendments they propose throughout the legislative process. Currently, the impact assessment is only carried out by the Commission concerning the proposed text of the legislative act. But very often the original text is substantially amended in the Council and in the Parliament, without any serious analysis of the impacts.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic