Regulatory quality in Europe

Concepts, measures and policy processes

The European Union and its member states are investing in ambitious programmes for ‘better regulation’ and targets of regulatory quality. This book lifts the veil of excessively optimistic propositions covering the whole better-regulation agenda, and provides a conceptual framework to handle the political complexity of regulatory governance. It approaches better regulation as an emerging public policy, with its own political context, actors, problems, rules of interaction, instruments, activities and impacts. Focusing on the key tools of impact assessment, consultation, simplification and access to legislation, the chapters provide empirical evidence on the progress made in the member states and in Brussels, drawing on an extensive research project and an original survey of directors of better-regulation programmes in Europe. They show how indicators define, measure and appraise better-regulation policy, linking measures to policy processes in which the stakeholders learn by monitoring. Although better regulation is a top priority for competitiveness in Europe and the legitimacy of EU policy, the level of commitment and the development of tools vary considerably. The major challenge for better regulation is institutionalisation—this calls for clear choices in terms of what the EU wants from better regulation.

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