Find here some background information about the Community of Practice for better self-and co-regulation (CoP) pilot project, from its origins to its working methods.

Where did the CoP come from?

The Community of Practice took its roots in Renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility, which included an action aimed at developing a code of good practice for self- and co-regulation exercises, to make these voluntary actions more effective. After a public consultation in the summer 2012 on a "Code for Effective Open Voluntarism", the Principles for better self- and co-regulation were developed, setting out, in a snapshot, evidence-based best practices principles.

The consultation also revealed that four out of five respondents were interested in joining a Community of Practice: the “Principles” needed to be owned, promoted and improved. Moreover, a need to move beyond mere compliance towards a literal version of the Principles emerged, to nurture a culture for constructive interactions between civil society organisations, the business community and policy makers.

The pilot Community of Practice was established, gathering all stakeholders wishing to promote, test and improve those Principles, share their experience about better self- and co-regulation actions, or simply to contribute on a more general level to this collective effort. The Inaugural meeting took place on December 10, 2013.

How did the CoP work?

The CoP worked both "on-line" and "off-line" through a web-based platform and regular meetings. Plenary meetings were organised regularly to meet and share ideas, debate the CoP priorities and pave the way for future work, which was then further pursued online.

The web-based platform still offers a curated collection of best practice literature and case studies, a link to the European Economic and Social Committee database on self- and co-regulation initiatives, as well as presentations and summaries of discussions held in plenary meetings.

Who steered the CoP process?

The CoP pilot project was chaired first by Robert Madelin, then Director General of DG CONNECT. The chairmanship was then ensured by David Ringrose, Head of DG CONNECT’s Policy Outreach and International Affairs Unit.

The Chair was assisted by a Steering Committee, composed of 10 persons from diverse genders, nationalities and backgrounds - from the industry, academia, public and civil society worlds. The Steering Committee played a leadership, conceptual and steering role in fostering better SRCR and renewing the public-private dialogue. Its members made recommendations for issues to be discussed, both online and in periodic meetings, and to develop a strategy for widening the membership in their respective community and beyond. The Commission services provided the CoP secretariat and sat ex officio in the Steering Committee.

Steering Committee members were:

  • Jean-Pierre Faure, Head of the Secretariat of the Single Market Observatory of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
  • Ursula Pachl, Deputy Director General of BEUC, the European Consumers’ Organisation
  • Oliver Gray, former Director-General of EASA, the European Advertising Standards Alliance
  • Didier Huck, Vice President, Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility at Technicolor
  • Dominic Lyle, Director General of EACA, the European Association of Communications Agencies
  • Chris Marsden, Professor of Internet Law at the University of Sussex
  • Angela Mills Wade, Executive Director of EPC, the European Publishers Council
  • Linda Senden, Professor in European Law at Utrecht University
  • Patrick von Braunmühl, former Managing Director of Selbstregulierung Informationswirtschaft (SRIW), the 'Self-regulation information economy' organisation
  • Giulia Bubbolini, Head of EU and Public Funded Projects at CISE, Innovation and Economic Development Centre, representing the R-ICT project.

I am still interested in self- and co-regulation (SRCR), what can I do?

Self- and co-regulation (SRCR) is now mainstreamed in the European Commission’s better regulation processes, as part of the Better Regulation guidelines and toolbox. The Better Regulation agenda is about designing and evaluating EU policies and laws transparently, evidence-based, backed up by the views of citizens and stakeholders. When proposing new policies and laws, the Commission must focus on what really does need to be done by the European Union, and makes sure they are done well. To do so, it strengthens preparation, improves consultation, makes sure EU laws are fit for purpose and ensures quality. The Better regulation guidelines and toolbox want to guide Commission services on how to effectively implement common standards for better regulation.

Find out more on why and how better regulation.