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.




In an increasingly globalised world, the way the rules of the game for business, investment and trade are designed and enforced is of critical importance for the performance and competitiveness of countries. Traditionally, rules and their application are a matter of domestic competence. However, dealing with climate change, human health and safety, migration and a range of other global policy issues requires that regulators look beyond their national borders to address interconnected and cross-jurisdictional challenges. The ongoing financial and economic crisis has provided ample illustration of the dramatic impact of poor articulation and inadequate enforcement of regulation across borders.


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