International Regulatory Co-operation

Addressing Global Challenges

image of International Regulatory Co-operation

The world is becoming increasingly global. This raises important challenges for regulatory processes which still largely emanate from domestic jurisdictions.   In order to eliminate unnecessary regulatory divergences and to address global challenges pertaining to systemic risks, the environment, and human health and safety, governments increasingly seek to better articulate regulations across borders and to ensure greater enforcement of rules and their application across jurisdictions.

This report gathers in a synthetic manner the knowledge and evidence available to date on the various mechanisms available to governments to promote regulatory co-operation, and their benefits and challenges. The review of evidence confirms the increased internationalisation of regulation, which takes place through a wide variety of mechanisms and multiple actors, and highlights a shift in the nature of IRC from complete 'harmonisation' of regulation to more flexible options - such as mutual recognition agreements. Despite growing regulatory co-operation, however, decision making on IRC is not informed by a clear understanding of benefits costs and success factors of the diverse IRC options.



Conclusion: Areas for further work

As an initial step, this stocktaking report shows the multiplicity of IRC arrangements, the important benefits that can accrue from greater regulatory co-operation, but also the remaining analytical gaps and the complexity of implementing effective IRC. Clearly, more work is needed to guide governments in a number of areas. In that respect, the OECD presents unique advantages to advance the thinking and build a shared understanding on IRC. The OECD can build on its long-standing expertise in promoting regulatory co-operation among its members in various policy areas. It can tap into the experiences of its members in an area where countries and the EU have accumulated substantial experience from which important lessons and good practices can be drawn. The organisation also has the credibility and analytical strength to engage governments in fruitful discussions on a politically sensitive area, by anchoring the debate in evidence-based analysis. It has the convening power to reach out to different communities. Within the OECD, the Regulatory Policy Committee and its Recommendation on Regulatory Policy and Governance provide a relevant cross-sectoral framework for anchoring the discussions.


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