EU ministers want Commission to measure impact of all future legislation

The Competitiveness Council of 30 September
welcomed the Commission’s plans for better regulation. The
ministers stated their intention not to consider legislative
proposals, as of the beginning of 2003, unless they are
accompanied by an impact assessment.

In their first exchange of views during the Competitiveness
Council on 30 September, the EU ministers welcomed the
Commission’s proposals for better and simplified
regulation. They underlined in particular that they expect
to see the Commission attaching impact assessments to all
substantial legislative proposals by the beginning of 2003.

The ministers also endorsed the
following proposals of the Commission:

  • the creation of a representative Standing European
    Business Test Panel to seek the views of business on
    important draft measures;
  • making results of consultations and impact
    assessments publicly available;
  • the setting up of an efficient single access point in
    the Commission for Member States’ electronic notification
    of transpositions;
  • assessing on an annual basis the progress made in
    implementing the Action Plan for better regulation and
    undertaking a comprehensive review of the Action Plan
    before the end of 2005.


In a position paper to the Commission's White Paper on
Governance, the European employers federation

demanded that the impact analysis "should be carried out
also afterwards including the amendments made by the
European Parliament and the Council. Once implemented,
re-evaluation of existing regulation should take place on a
regular basis to assess the need for keeping it in place in
the changing environment".


On 5 June, the Commission adopted three communications and
an action plan for better regulation as a follow-up to its
White Paper on Governance (see

). The action plan aims at simplifying and improving the
EU's regulatory environment. The communications deal with a
new method of impact assessment which the Commission
intends to use for all future legislative initiatives and
with minimum standards for consultation prior to the
adoption of a legislative initiative. These new methods of
regulation should come into effect in 2003.


  • The Commission is preparing other follow-up actions
    on governance for the autumn.
  • The Council asked the Commission to prepare a
    progress report to the Council on 14-15 November
    concerning the guidelines on impact assessment.


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