Foreword

In 2008, the OECD and the European Union jointly launched the EU 15 Project to assess the capacities for effective regulatory management across the EU through individual reviews of 15 member states. Since then, however, new challenges have emerged. There has been a significant erosion of people’s trust in institutions, and citizens are increasingly sceptical about the capacity of governments to address a growing number of concerns, including rising inequalities, migration flows, climate change and the disruption caused by new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. These challenges, along with the regulatory uncertainty caused by Brexit, put increasing pressure and demands on the EU and its member states as they seek to make regulations work better for their citizens.

The 2019 Better Regulation Practices across the EU report highlights that regulatory policy is one of the main government policy levers for improving societal welfare. It must not only be responsive to a changing environment, but also proactively shape this environment. Without a system in place to update regulations and anticipate new developments, governments will not be able to keep pace with rapid change. In this respect, it is also important to engage citizens and all stakeholders in the development of laws. This will not only increase understanding of how new laws work in practice, but also lead to greater compliance, engagement and trust. Moreover, given the complexity of today’s environment, governments cannot address regulatory challenges at the domestic level alone. The quality of laws and regulations in the EU also depends on the quality of the regulatory management systems, both in member states and in EU institutions.

Upon the request – and with the support – of the European Union, the OECD has analysed the application of all 28 EU member states’ regulatory management tools to EU-made laws and regulations. Using the OECD Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance, this report tracks progress and highlights countries’ best practices in order to improve regulatory management in each member state and in the overall EU.

The EU already stands out for the breadth and depth of its regulatory and economic integration, as well as for its efforts to ensure that its legislation works for citizens and the smooth functioning of the single market. This report should inspire EU member states to further optimise the management of domestic – as well as EU – laws and regulations with the ultimate goal of maximising the welfare of their citizens. We hope that this report will be a useful tool in this process and will contribute to design, develop and deliver better regulatory policies for better lives for all EU citizens.

 

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Angel Gurría

Secretary-General, OECD

 

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Frans Timmermans

First Vice-President, European Commission

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