About the Legal Service
Activities of the Legal Service
- The Commission’s legal adviser
- The Commission’s legal representative
- Helping to improve the quality of drafting of Community legislation
“Better lawmaking” or “better regulation” is a key concern of the European legislator, forming part of the general issue of “governance”. The need for better regulation at European level has frequently been acknowledged. Since 1995 the European Commission has reported on steps to improve lawmaking as part of the annual reports entitled "Better lawmaking".
Why is there a demand for better lawmaking at European level and what exactly do we mean by it?
European citizens are becoming increasingly aware that European law concerns them in their everyday life. They therefore want to follow how European legislation is drawn up and to have easy access to legislative texts. To take account of that legitimate interest the European Commission consults stakeholders and carries out assessments of the economic, social and environmental impact before framing any rules and, in both its proposals for legislative acts and its implementing acts, it focuses on clear drafting, sets out the reasons why the act is necessary, and explains the responsibilities of the different institutions in the lawmaking process. It also screens existing legislation to find any acts which have become obsolete and can be repealed.
As an internal service of the Commission, the Legal Service makes its contribution to better lawmaking at an early stage by checking both the legality of proposed legislation and its drafting. The Legal service’s quality of legislation team, and more specifically the legal revisers group, is responsible for checking the quality of drafting within the Commission. During the legislative process that responsibility passes to the legal revisers of the European Parliament and of the Council, who all work on the basis of common rules established in inter-institutional agreements.
Information on different aspects of better lawmaking can be found on the following websites:
- Better regulation
- Impact assessment
- Glossary: Simplification of legislation
- Enterprise and Industry: Smart regulation
Last updated on 19.6.2013