The "Principles for better self- and co-regulation" have been designed to offer guidance and a benchmark for effective self-regulation and co-regulation (SRCR). They cover the two subsequent phases of conception and implementation and stem from evidence-based good practice emerging from different initiatives. When applied, they may help SRCR practitioners to gain better recognition, respect and credibility for their SRCR efforts. Developed by open consultation, discussed and tested by the pilot Community of Practice for better self- and co-regulation project, they are free for use.

At a glance:


  • Participants - As many as possible potential useful actors should be represented.
  • Openness - Envisaged actions should be prepared openly and involve all interested parties.
  • Good faith - Different capabilities of participants should be taken into account, activities outside the action's scope should be coherent with the aim of the action and participants are expected to commit real effort to success.
  • Objectives - Must be set out clearly and unambiguously and include targets as well as indicators for evaluation purposes.
  • Legal compliance - Actions must be designed in compliance with applicable law and fundamental rights as enshrined in EU and national law.


  • Iterative improvements - A prompt start, with accountability and a process of "learning by doing", with sustained interaction between all participants.
  • Monitoring - Conducted in a way that is sufficiently open and autonomous to command respect from all interested parties.
  • Evaluation - To allow participants to assess whether the action may be concluded, improved or replaced.
  • Resolving disputes - By ensuring they receive timely attention. Non compliance should be subject to a graduated scale of sanctions.
  • Financing - Participants will provide the means necessary to fulfil the commitments, and participation of civil society organisations may be supported by public funders or others.

In full:

Principles for better self- and co-regulation