28 Feb
sustainable european council

Better regulation for competitiveness and sustainable, inclusive growth: European Council adopts conclusions

The European Council yesterday (27 February) adopted conclusions entitled “Ensuring competitiveness and sustainable, inclusive growth”.

In its conclusions, the Council stresses the importance of principle-based and rigorous impact assessments, taking into account both the costs and benefits. It expresses full support for an impartial regulatory scrutiny board within the Commission.

It notes the Commission’s intention to apply the so-called “one in, one out” instrument and highlights that this regulatory offsetting approach should not lower social and ecological standards while maximising the benefits of regulation for business and citizens.

It reiterates its commitment to the “think small first” principle and the need to systematically consult SMEs and micro-enterprises. It welcomes the announced replacement of the REFIT platform by the Fit-for-Future platform and calls on the Commission to ensure the visibility of the new platform. Finally, the Council underlines the importance of ex-post reviews and recalls the need for a set of minimum quality standards.

Main calls on the Commisson
– As specified in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making, to carry out impact assessments of its legislative and non-legislative initiatives, delegated acts and implementing measures which are expected to have significant economic, environmental or social impacts and to ensure that the initiatives included in the Commission Work Programme or in the joint declaration are accompanied, as a general rule, by an impact assessment;

– to be transparent on the criteria used to determine whether Commission legislative and non-legislative proposals are expected to have a significant impact and should therefore be accompanied by an impact assessment;

– to explain why it is not possible to undertake a quantification of costs and benefits in the Commission’s impact assessments to its proposals;

– to ensure improved assessment of climate impacts for all relevant new proposals as provided by the Green Deal and to ensure that the proposals’ other impacts on all policy areas are equally taken into account;

– to improve the quantification and qualitative dimension in its impact assessments and to give sufficient consideration to different options for EU action;

– to ensure that the impact assessment transmitted to the Council and the European Parliament fits and covers the corresponding legislative proposal;

– to give due consideration to the possibility, on its own initiative or upon invitation by the European Parliament or the Council, of complementing its impact assessments or undertaking additional analytical work it considers necessary, under the terms agreed in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making, should the proposal be significantly changed in the legislative process

By: Estela Martín

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