EU Science Hub

The debate on the EU Better Regulation Agenda: a literature review

This report addresses the debate on the Better Regulation Agenda adopted by the European Commission in 2015 (BR 2015). The review is structured according to the following major areas: i) evidence-based policy-making, including methodology and quantification; ii) integrated policy cycle (including Impact Assessments, and evaluation); iii) stakeholder consultation, participation and involvement; iv) level of regulation, including REFIT; v) regulatory scrutiny and quality assurance; vi) transparency in policy making; vii) inter-institutional relations; viii) subsidiarity and proportionality. For each of these areas, the main messages of the various authors on achievements, remaining issues and what can be further improved have been identified, analysed and brought together. The debate addresses a wide range of aspects, from the technical to the political level. The presence of often little consensus, together with the still scarce empirical evidence, makes a synthesis very challenging. The great majority of the publications welcome the ambition of the reform and one or more specific aspects of the BR 2015, which is seen as further strengthening the EU regulation system. At the same time, authors also point out at the remaining issues and make observations on what could be further improved.