Source: Committe of Regions
The new European Commission (EC) communication on “Better regulation: Joining forces to make better laws” sets the scene for better law-making in the European Union and enhances the EC’s commitment to make its policymaking processes more transparent, inclusive and efficient. The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) welcomes that the Commission commits to involve local and regional authorities more effectively along the entire policy-cycle, and that it acknowledges the need to develop a territorially sensitive approach to legislation.
The EC communication acknowledges the place of local and regional authorities at the heart of better law-making by acknowledging the role and relevance of Territorial Impact Assessments (TIAs) as valuable tools for complementing EC ex ante impact assessments (IAs). Moreover, it confirms the highlighted role for local and regional authorities for the EU’s legislative review process which was already acknowledged with the establishment of the Fit for Future Platform (F4F) in May 2020. More concretely, the EC emphasises in the communication the role of the three CoR representatives who have been appointed to the government group of F4F, and the role of the CoR’s Network of Regional Hubs (RegHub) as an expert sub-group of the Platform. This is particularly important in light of the overall enhanced role for evaluations in the EC’s better regulation regime. These positions acknowledge that local and regional authorities play a crucial role for implementing, enforcing and finally evaluating EU policies on the ground. The CoR further welcomes the Commission’s intention to systematically use the CoR Subsidiarity assessment grid to help assessing whether legislation at EU level is justifiable or not.
Mark Speich (DE/EPP) , Secretary of State for Federal, European and International Affairs for the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, chair of the CoR commission on Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs ( CIVEX), and one of the three CoR representative in the F4F Platform said:“ I welcome the progress that is being made, particularly with the Fit for Future platform and the Subsidiarity assessment grid. This is a step in the right direction. If we take this positive development a step further, I believe it could result in a standing monitoring committee that would permanently review not only future but also existing legislation and legislative effectiveness from the perspective of regional implementation” .
With regard to the operationalisation of the new communication and its objectives, the CoR looks forward to seeing the updated guideline for better regulation and the better regulation toolbox which are the central tools for the implementation of the EC’s better law-making efforts and the mean to account for the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality in EU policymaking.
A COR opinion on the EC communication on Better regulation will be drafted by rapporteur Piero Mauro Zanin (IT/EPP), alternate CoR member and President of the Regional Council of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. It will be adopted on 28 September at the CIVEX commission meeting and in the CoR Plenary on 1-2 December 2021.