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Better Regulation

Better regulation is one of the European Commission priorities. Better regulation is about designing EU policies and laws so that they achieve their objectives in the most efficient and effective way possible. It is a way of working to ensure that:

  • policy is fit for purpose
  • evidence always informs policy making
  • stakeholders are involved throughout a transparent process.

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

Better regulation means that the existing body of Union legislation is being managed more actively. The Commission has committed itself to more systematic evaluation of its legislation including so-called "fitness checks" under the REFIT Programme.

In the chemicals area, two parallel evaluation exercises will be undertaken as part of the REFIT programme, and will then be brought together in a stocktaking of chemicals regulation:

  • Fitness check of the most relevant chemicals legislation (excluding REACH)
  • REACH Review

Fitness check of the most relevant chemicals legislation (excluding REACH)

The European Commission is conducting a fitness check of the most relevant chemicals legislation (excluding REACH) as part of the REFIT programme. The Directorate-General for the Environment and the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW) share the responsibility for this fitness check.

The chemicals legislation fitness check aims to assess the relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency and EU added value of the legislative framework for the risk management of chemicals. It will identify excessive administrative burdens, overlaps, gaps, inconsistencies and/or obsolete measures. This will promote better legislation, making it more responsive to current and future challenges and help improve implementation.

Stakeholder consultations and supporting studies:

Stakeholder consultation is an important element of the fitness check. The consultation strategy ( comprises the following actions:

  • A public consultation undertaken between 4 March to 27 May 2016.
  • An SME panel consultation conducted through the Enterprise Europe Network between 30 May and 18 July 2016.
  • Various stakeholder workshops held as a part of the studies (see below) conducted for the fitness check.
  • Targeted interviews with stakeholder associations conducted between December 2015 and May 2016.

Interested stakeholders can also share their views on this fitness check by giving feedback on the roadmap (i.e. the document specifying the scope of the fitness check and the issues to be examined). Feedback on the roadmap can be given following this link.

The fitness check is supported by a number of targeted studies aimed at gathering evidence for the evaluation of the framework of EU chemicals legislation. The two primary studies are:

Additional Commission studies of direct relevance to the fitness check are:

More information on the chemicals legislation (excluding REACH) fitness check

REACH Review

The REACH Regulation includes the obligation for a review every 5 years to make sure that the regulation is fulfilling its objectives. The current REACH Review, due in 2017, is being carried out in parallel with the fitness check on the most relevant chemicals legislation excluding REACH.

The REACH Review will build on the findings from the previous REACH Review (published in 2013) and examine the developments since then. The Review will be carried out to meet the new evaluation standards introduced by the European Commission in 2015 as part of its Better Regulation agenda.

The roadmap for this review is published at the following link, including an opportunity for feedback.

(For more information see also Commission Work Programme 2016).

Background information on the REFIT programme and Better Regulation in General