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European Commission to reinforce “better regulation” drive

News of the European Commission's emerging agenda for “better regulation" is the subject of discussion in Brussels .In particularly, the European Commission is seeking to call on the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to prioritise initiatives that would simplify or improve existing laws, make sure that the laws already in effect have been properly evaluated, to see whether existing tools could be used to do the job and systematically include — in every new law — provisions to allow monitoring and future evaluation.

The Commission also wants to strengthening its REFIT programme by rendering it more targeted, quantitative, inclusive and politically prioritised.

A ‘REFIT’ regulatory fitness check of the Birds and Habitats Directives is currently underway.

“The risk that this ‘Better Regulation’ agenda carries for the nature directives is that it creates an expectation that a fitness check at the very least should lead to a policy to be scrapped, merged or mangled in some other way,” said Pieter de Pous of EEB. But he added that “an honest and evidence-based assessment” of the directives is likely to find that they are fit for purpose.

The Commission also “urges” national governments to “avoid unjustified ‘gold-plating’ of EU rules”, which it defines as adding further provisions when transposing EU law into national law. “While this may help achieving the legislation’s objectives in the local context, this is not always the case and may impose significant extra burdens. Member states should have to explain the reasons for any such gold-plating,” the draft states.

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Issue 42