Cyprus’ regulatory policy system has remained stable over the last years with only a few changes mainly related to consultation practices. While public consultations on draft primary laws continues to be mandatory, policy makers now also engage with specific groups such as trade unions, employers' organisations, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, NGOs and the business sector on regulatory proposals. Consultations are still not mandatory for subordinate regulations. Further, early stage consultations before a decision to regulate is made are still not yet conducted when developing primary laws nor subordinate regulations, even though it is recommended in the 2015 Action Plan for improving the regulatory framework in Cyprus.

When consulting, regulators are required to take stakeholders feedback into account; they are not however required to respond to participants’ comments, which makes it difficult for participants to see how their input has helped shaped regulatory proposals. Participants’ views are made public on summaries published once consultations are over. Cyprus is currently developing an eConsultation platform where it plans to undertake all public consultations. This would allow for easier access to ongoing consultations, improving Cyprus’ regulatory making process. Cyprus would also benefit from consulting with stakeholders earlier in the process to identify policy options including alternatives to regulation.

Regulatory impact assessment (RIA) is required for all regulatory proposals relating to primary laws. Although Cyprus introduced a new RIA framework in September 2017, a number of gaps remain. The impact assessment system could be improved by considering a broader range of costs and benefits, and establishing an oversight body for RIA quality control. Cyprus would also benefit from a systematic evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of its regulatory management system.

Cyprus’ SME Envoy is responsible for the quality control of the SME test, which assesses the potential impact of regulations on small and medium-sized enterprises. The SME Envoy is also in charge of ensuring an adequate consultation with the business community. It can issue an opinion on the quality of the SME test and resulting mitigation measures. There is however no institution responsible for regulatory oversight as a whole in Cyprus.

The Law Commissioner, appointed by the President of the Republic, has recently had its functions expanded. It now carries out simplification, consolidation, codification and revision of the national legislation on ad-hoc basis. The Law Commissioner advises the President and the Ministers on any issue concerning the law, its modernization, consolidation, amendment and reform. However, ex post evaluation of laws and regulations is not yet systematically undertaken in Cyprus. Having in place a framework for consistent and continuous evaluations could help to ensure that existing regulations remain fit for purpose.

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