Better Regulation three years later – is it really working?

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Better Regulation three years later – is it really working?
Better regulation aims to help organisations reach compliance with EU regulatory demands, and offers a toolbox of services and information to do that.

It was introduced three years ago, and one session at the recent Cosmetics Europe​ Annual Conference, an industry knowledge-sharing event, considered how much of a difference it has been making.

The speakers at the session were:

  • Thomas Van Cangh, Policy Officer, Impact Assessment, Secretariat General, European Commission

  • Aaron Mcloughlin, Public Affairs and Sustainability Committee Executive Director, CEFIC

  • Moderated by Emma Trogen, Director of Legal Affairs, Cosmetics Europe

Session overview

The panellists discussed the definition of Better regulation in EU policy development and provided practical insights from their experience working with the Better regulation toolbox, say CEAC organisers.

Better regulation is about reaching the policy objectives in the most effective and efficient ways, through a thorough planning of the policy cycle and through evidence-based and transparent policy making.

“Several tools are at the disposal of the regulator through the Better regulation toolbox, including impact assessments and REFIT evaluations.

“The Regulatory Scrutiny Board oversees and validates impact assessments.”

Both panellists agreed that the Better regulation agenda has changed the ways of working of the institutions and of stakeholders.

Discussing improvements to the process, Aaron McLoughlin noted that increased transparency in voting processes in committees was essential.

Thomas Van Cangh stressed that an improved quality of stakeholders’ contributions in public consultations would enhance evidence-based policy making. Proportionality remains key in impact assessments.

“The audience discussed the difficulty of interpreting the concept of significant impact, which governs the need for an impact assessment and remains at the discretion of the policy maker to interpret,”​ say CEAC organisers.

“On the question whether the system may be by-passed when politics become involved, both panellists reminded that decisions will always be political but that the better regulation toolbox offers the right and legitim approach to ensure proposals are proportionate and properly assessed.”

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