Overview and recent developments

Regulatory reform has been an important feature of the Danish government agenda since the 1980s. The initial focus on competitiveness has been extended to burden reduction and more recently to the promotion of innovation-friendly business regulation. Established in 2012 and 2015 respectively, the Danish Business Forum for Better Regulation monitors the implementation of national regulation, and the EU-Implementation Committee and EU-Implementation Council monitor the implementation of EU business regulation. As from July 2018 all regulations must comply with the newly-introduced principles on agile and digital-proof legislation.

The government periodically reviews existing regulation with significant impacts and the Danish Business Forum conducts in-depth reviews of regulations in different policy areas. In 2015 the RIA methodology for business regulation as well as the net reduction target was updated to include additional costs and to require RIAs to be carried out for both primary and subordinate regulations above certain thresholds. The use of RIA could be further strengthened by the introduction of an oversight function that allows for returning proposed rules for which impact assessments are considered inadequate and which is not limited to regulations affecting business.

Denmark systematically engages with stakeholders and makes use of interactive consultation websites in the later stage of the regulatory process. Transparency could be further strengthened by informing the public in advance that a public consultation or a RIA is due to take place.

Institutional setup for regulatory oversight

The Team Effective Regulation at the Danish Business Authority (TER) is responsible for the quality control of RIAs of regulations creating significant burdens for businesses and also provides guidance and training in the use of good regulatory management tools, including RIA. Complementary, the EU-Implementation Committee located within the Ministry of Employment checks the quality of implementation of business-oriented EU legislation. Both bodies support systematic improvements across government and identify areas where regulation can be made more effective, the Committee in line with the five principles of EU-oriented business regulation. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the quality control of compliance with the principles on digital-proof legislation and measures the regulatory effect on GDP. The Ministry of Justice oversees and enforces the overall judicial quality control of regulation.

Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance (iREG): Denmark, 2018

Notes: The more regulatory practices as advocated in the OECD Recommendation on Regulatory Policy and Governance a country has implemented, the higher its iREG score. The indicators on stakeholder engagement and RIA for primary laws only cover those initiated by the executive (99% of all primary laws in Denmark).

Source: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Surveys 2014 and 2017,


Location of regulatory oversight functions: Denmark

Regulatory oversight functions

Centre of government

Ministry of Finance, Economy or Treasury

Ministry of Justice

Other ministries

Non-departmental body


Office of the Attorney General

Supreme audit institution

Part of the judiciary

Quality control of…


Stakeholder engagement

Ex post evaluation

Identifying policy areas where regulation can be made more effective

Systematic improvement of regulatory policy

Co-ordination of regulatory policy

Guidance, advice and support

Scrutiny of legal quality

Notes: ⚫ indicates that a given regulatory oversight function is covered by at least one body in a particular location. Data present the situation as of 31 December 2017 and do not reflect changes that may have taken place in 2018.

Source: Survey questions on regulatory oversight bodies, Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Survey 2017,

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