consultation on its ‘better regulation’
approach, in which the German Social Insurance also participated, the
Commission wanted to assess how well the better regulation tools it uses work
in practice to achieve the objectives of its Better Regulation Agenda and how
the role of subsidiarity and proportionality in policy-making can be
comments made by the umbrella associations of Germany’s social insurance system,
they call for timely consultation phases to ensure that participation by the
public and other stakeholders is well-informed and well-founded. It should also
be possible to easily submit queries related to the consultation questions and
content, without red tape and in consultation with the relevant services. When preparing
the content of the consultation questionnaires, care should be taken to ensure
that the way questions are asked allows for different answers and an individual
assessment of different aspects.
terms of subsidiarity and proportionality, it was pointed out that a thorough
analysis and detailed presentation of the results would help to make the
relevant evaluation processes more transparent. Furthermore, the umbrella
associations of Germany’s social insurance system advocated that aspects of social
and health policy should be taken into account when presenting new legislation.
complete consultation submission is available here (in German language only).
Grid to assess subsidiarity
the same time as the public consultation in October 2018, the Commission released
its Communication on ‘The principles of subsidiarity and proportionality: Strengthening their
role in the EU’s policymaking’. According to the Communication, the principles
of subsidiarity and proportionality are core elements of better regulation.
The Communication refers
to the report of the Task Force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and ‘Doing
Less More Efficiently’ and includes nine recommendations from the Task Force in Annex
I. The Task Force, chaired by Frans Timmermans, First
Vice-President of the Commission, was composed of members from the Committee of
the Regions and National Parliaments and looked at all areas of EU policy. In
July 2018, it submitted its final report to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The Commission accepted
the Task Force’s proposal to include a grid (see Annex II of the Communication) to assess subsidiarity and proportionality
in its Better Regulation Guidelines and to use this to present the results of
its impact assessments, evaluations and justifications. It also wants to use the
grid in its communication with national parliaments.
should also be easier for National Parliaments to meet deadlines for submitting
opinions on proposals. The Task Force recommended that the Commission should
flexibly apply the Treaty-based deadline of eight weeks for national
parliaments to submit reasoned opinions. This flexibility should take into
account normal holiday periods and recess periods, and allow the Commission, as
far as possible, to respond within eight weeks of receiving an opinion.
to the Better
Regulation Agenda, decision-making in the EU
should be transparent, open and responsive to the needs and interests of
society and businesses. The agenda covers all EU policy areas. Targeted
regulation should only take place where necessary, and at minimum cost and
administrative burden. The agenda is based on three pillars:
- Involvement of stakeholders
throughout the entire policy cycle.
- Assessments to ensure that
current EU laws are fit for purpose.
- Impact assessments that ensure
new proposals achieve their policy objectives as efficiently as possible,
without any unnecessary burdens.
ultimate aim of better regulation and the simplification of laws is to boost
competitiveness, growth and jobs in the EU and give citizens and stakeholders
more of a voice.
conclusions of the Commission’s current review of the Better Regulation Agenda are
expected in the first half of 2019.