Romania has gradually developed its regulatory policy since the early 2000s. While Law 24/2000 on drafting legal acts set out an initial obligation to identify the impacts of draft regulations, the requirements for RIA have been further refined in Government Decision no. 1361 issued in 2006. According to these provisions, all regulations are required to be accompanied by an explanatory note, describing the rationale and assessing the impacts of the draft proposal. Additionally, Romania introduced in 2006 a template for assessing the impacts during the development of public policy initiatives, including regulatory initiatives and published guidance on RIA in 2016. Since 2020, Romania has began publishing yearly reports on the performance of the RIA system, which includes data on the percentage of RIAs that comply with formal requirements and guidelines.

Nevertheless, challenges in the implementation of RIA remain. In practice, the quality of explanatory notes varies and the actual assessment of impacts is not always conducted. Romania should strengthen its oversight of RIA to ensure that RIA can effectively inform policy makers on the costs and benefits of different policy options.

Romania does not have central oversight of the quality of RIA in place, but some ministries, such as the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Justice, review specific sections of explanatory notes as part the endorsement procedure of regulations. In addition, the Group for Assessing the Economic Impact of Normative Acts on SMEs (GEIEAN) – located within the Ministry of Economy, Energy, and Business Environment – is in charge of ensuring the quality and coherence of regulation affecting SMEs. GEIEAN reviews the application of the SME test in rulemaking as well as the quality of RIA and of stakeholder engagement pertaining to regulatory impacts on SMEs and can issue endorsements as well as recommendations. The Department for Coordinating Policies and Priorities (DCPP) has not performed core oversight functions for the past four years. It has however co-ordinated the review of the RIA performance system as well as the publication of the yearly report and it continues to lead the development of the Romanian RIA system.

Regarding stakeholder engagement, Law no. 52/2003 requires ministries to publish all regulations for comments on their websites. Romania updated its central consultation portal in 2019 which is now more frequently used. However, the minimum period for submitting comments is only ten days. The consultation portal also redirects members of the public to public consultations held by the European Commission. Romania recently began publishing yearly reports on the performance of consultation practices on draft laws and regulations.

Romania lacks a systematic approach for reviewing existing regulations. Ex post evaluation is conducted on an ad hoc basis by ministries and there is neither methodological guidance nor a requirement for the periodical review of existing regulations. Romania would benefit from systemising ex post evaluation to inform the development of new policies and to assess whether existing laws and regulations are meeting their objectives.

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