Croatia continues to improve its regulatory policy. Whilst an ex post evaluation framework was recently introduced, Croatia projects to further strengthen it in the coming years. Since 2018, policy makers must evaluate whether primary laws are achieving their objectives two years after their enactment in cases where ex ante assessment were required but exempted. These evaluations assess costs and benefits of existing regulations using RIA. Furthermore, stakeholders can provide their feedback to evaluations through Croatia’s central interactive consultation portal e-Savjetovanja. Policy makers now also have written guidance available on how to conduct the evaluations to ensure consistency. Since 2019, citizens and businesses can report cumbersome administrative procedures on the new online portal Boljipropisi. This complements the “Action Plan for Administrative Burden Reduction” that the Ministry of Economy introduced in 2017 to create investment incentives and to provide easier market access.

Croatia systematically engages with stakeholders for the development of major draft primary laws, which continue to be published online for consultation for 30 days. Stakeholders can read, reply or support comments from other users on e-Savjetovanja, and can also organise comments from oldest to newest, by popularity, and other criteria. The body drafting the regulation publicly replies on e-Savjetovanja to all comments received during the consultation period. Policy makers also engage at early stages before there is a decision to regulate with ad hoc working groups including representatives from civil society, businesses and academia, and since 2018 do so with the general public through online consultations.

Since 2017, the RIA law requires an initial RIA to be carried out for all primary laws. A full RIA has to be conducted for laws with a potentially high impact, requiring regulators to assess a broad range of environmental and social impacts. If deemed necessary, a test analysing the impacts on SMEs is undertaken, focusing mostly on administrative costs. In practice, however, RIAs are not of sufficient quality due to a lack of analytical capacity in ministries. Croatia could consider creating analytical centres with “RIA champions” in the most important ministries to strengthen capacities and extend its RIA requirements to subordinate regulations.

The Government Legislation Office (GLO), located at the centre of government, is the central body responsible for a range of regulatory oversight functions. In addition to its existing role as co-ordinator of regulatory policy measures related to RIA, its mandate was extended in 2017 to include the quality control of ex post evaluation and in 2019 to include oversight of stakeholder engagement and management of the central consultation portal e-Savjetovanja. The GLO reviews all preliminary assessments and full RIA reports, including ex post evaluation RIAs, provides advice and can ask administrators to revise RIAs if the quality is deemed insufficient. The Office also publishes yearly reports on the performance of the Croatian RIA system. Furthermore, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development performs a range of oversight functions focusing on impacts of regulations on small- and medium-sized businesses. The Ministry controls the quality of the SME tests included in the RIA and provides guidance and training on the test to civil servants.

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