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Better regulation

16 December 2015

Interinstitutional agreement on better law-making

REFIT Platform

Better regulation is about designing EU policies and laws so that they achieve their objectives at minimum cost. It ensures that policy is prepared, implemented and reviewed in an open, transparent manner, informed by the best available evidence and backed up by involving stakeholders.

To ensure that EU action is effective, the Commission assesses the expected and actual impacts of policies, legislation and other important measures at every stage of the policy cycle - from planning to implementation, to review and subsequent revision.

The Commission decided on 19 May 2015pdf(172 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  to create a REFIT Platform to advise the Commission on simplifying and making EU laws more effective and efficient.

The Commission publishes regularly provisional dates of adoption of Commission initiativespdf.

Before the EU takes action

During EU action

  • Once implemented for a sufficient period of time, initiatives are evaluated to check their performance against standard criteria.
  • REFIT (Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme) identifies opportunities to reduce regulatory burdens and simplify existing laws in order to ensure that the objectives of the legislation or policy can be reached in a more effective and efficient way.
  • The REFIT Platform brings together experts from business, civil society, social partners, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of Regions and Member States.  The Platform's will support the better achievement of policy objectives by suggesting how to simplify EU law and Member State implementing measures and how to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.

Stakeholder consultations

Stakeholders are able to express their views over the entire life-cycle of a policy. Right from the very start of an initiative, they have the possibility to provide feedback on roadmaps and inception impact assessments. The Commission also actively consults citizens and other stakeholders during the preparation of all major policy initiatives. Stakeholders can also react on Commission proposals once they are adopted as well as on the accompanying impact assessment.

Regulatory Scrutiny Board

The Regulatory Scrutiny Board provides a central quality control and support function for Commission impact assessment and evaluation work. The Board examines and issues opinions on all the Commission's draft impact assessments and of major evaluations and "fitness checks" of existing legislation. In principle, a positive opinion is needed from the Board for an initiative accompanied by an impact assessment to be tabled for adoption by the Commission.

Better cooperation between institutions

On 15 December, the Commission endorsed a new Inter-institutional Agreement (IIA) on Better Law-Makingpdf(454 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  with the European Parliament and Council to improve the quality and the results of European legislation. The agreement will enter into force once approved by all three institutions.  The IIA on Better Law-Making will bring changes across the full policy-making cycle, from consultations and impact assessment to adoption, implementation and evaluation of EU legislation.

Lighten the load - Have your say!

The Commission would like to hear your views on how to make EU laws more effective and efficient via an online contact form. Your suggestions will be examined by the Commission and may be used to identify actions for simplification and burden reduction within the REFIT programme.

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