Wednesday 25 February 2009

Better regulation in the European Union: Progress report

The European institutions, mainly the Commission, the Parliament, and the Council are working on better regulation.

In a recent Council document (6193/09) the progress in this field is listed in detail:

Nine fields in which administrative burdens are supposed to be reduced as well as 50 regulatory areas and the respective regulations/directives that are subject to simplification are mentioned in the Annex I+II of the document. For each measure/area you can see the state of play. Some have been finalised already in 2008 while others will only be dealt with starting from this year.

From the main text of the document I like the following paragraph:
[T]he Presidency stresses the importance of short executive summaries, for presentation of quantified key benefits and costs, including administrative costs for businesses, and considers that such summaries should normally cover all options, not just the chosen one. Thoroughly evaluated alternatives can speed up the decision-making process in the institutions in cases where the co-legislators would opt for different solutions than the originally proposed option.
All more or less important documents of the European institutions should have short and understandable executive summaries. This would ease citizens' access to the EU information space and would not force us to read through endless and quite boring documents.

But I suppose this will never happen, so I'll just continue dreaming...


Ralf Grahn said...

A tough balancing act for the Commission. Short and clear summaries with consequences are great, but at the same time all probable and improbable alternatives should be included.

Reminds me of the adage that a camel is a horse drawn by a committee (Council?).