26 Jan 2012

Regulatory Quality in the European Commission and the UK: Old questions and new findings

Oliver Fritsch / Claudio Radaelli / Lorna Schrefler / Andrea Renda

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This Working Document examines the quality of impact assessments in the European Commission and the UK between 2005 and 2010. The findings suggest that impact assessment is not merely a perfunctory activity in the European Union and the UK. Quality has improved steadily over the years, arguably as a result of learning and regulatory oversight.

The UK and the European Commission are strikingly similar on a number of impact assessment dimensions (such as economic analysis and identification of costs and benefits). The European Commission’s impact assessments seem to pay more attention to social and environmental aspects, however.

The paper’s conclusions reflect on the implications of the findings for current policy discussions on regulatory quality and the role of regulatory oversight bodies.

This CEPS Working Document is written by Oliver Fritsch and Claudio M. Radaelli, University of Exeter; Lorna Schrefler, Research Fellow, CEPS, and Andrea Renda, Senior Research Fellow, Regulatory Policy, CEPS.