The drive to simplify and improve the regulatory environment for Europe’s citizens and businesses has been singled-out as a key priority for the European Union in recent years, and a growing number of initiatives at all levels of government - European, national , regional and local - are under way, making ‘Better Regulation’ a cornerstone of the Lisbon Agenda for jobs and growth.
Many would claim that considerable progress has been made both on the European level and in a large number of member states. However, sustaining the momentum and building on the progress to date in terms of delivering tangible results for citizens and businesses will require greater efforts in linking national and regional efforts to the activities at the European level:
- What should be the proper assignment of tasks between actors on all levels to make ‘Better Regulation’ work in the European system of multi-level governance?
- How ought we apply and further develop the available Better Regulation instruments?
Within the context of increasing public and political interest and intensifying Better Regulation activities, such as the publication of the European Commission’s ‘Second Strategic Review of Better Regulation in the European Union’ and the setting up of the High Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens, the time is ripe for an analysis of the challenges that lie ahead and for a critical appraisal of what has been achieved since the publication of the Mandelkern Report in 2001.
In order to assess progress and help to identify next steps, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), with the support of the European Economic and Social Committee, brought together approximately 100 leading practitioners, academics and stakeholders with a direct interest in Better Regulation, to meet at a high-level European colloquium under the heading “Delivering Better Regulation for Europe’s citizens and businesses? - Taking stock of the EU´s Better Regulation Strategy”.
The ‘by-invitation only’ colloquium took place in Brussels on September 10 and 11, 2008. Speakers included European Commission Vice-President, Günter Verheugen; Monique Goyens, Director-General of BEUC; Roshan di Puppo, Director of the Platform of European Social NGOs; John Hontelez, Secretary General of the European Environmental Bureau; Jens Hedström, Chairman of the Better Regulation Working Group at Business Europe; and Jan Mulder MEP.
Details of the event, together with papers. video clips, photographs and additional background information are available elsewhere on this website.