Fact of the Week: Better regulation: European Commission launches a new consultation mechanism

On 1 July, the European Commission launched a new consultation mechanism in line with the Better Regulation principle.  Concretely, the Commission has opened up another part of the EU decision-making process for stakeholder input. It means that draft measures proposed by the Commission to amend, supplement or give effect to EU primary legislation will be published online and submitted for public comment for four weeks. This will apply to delegated acts, implementing acts and measures under the pre-Lisbon Regulatory Procedure with Scrutiny.

More stakeholders’ involvement?

Seven drafts have already been made available for feedback until 28 July. Two are in the area of energy, one in financial services and one on the scientific criteria for endocrine disruptors. Thanks to this, citizens and stakeholders can be involved and share their position at the very beginning of the legislative process on a much larger spectrum. However, there are exceptions such as in the case of urgency or when a consultation has already been carried out by an EU agency. It is also not very clear at the moment to what extent the European Commission services will take comments into account.

More transparency?

When presenting the new initiative, first Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “Transparency and consultation are at the heart of our efforts to produce better regulation for better results.” However, concerns can be raised about transparency too: stakeholders can give their feedback or their position on a specific dossier, but their contributions can be left anonymously.