Regulation & Innovation

Work on regulation and innovation started in 2005, when the Regulatory Policy Unit (RPU) coordinated one of the first EU-funded projects on impact assessment, the European Network for Better Regulation (ENBR). Since then, the unit has accumulated in-depth and direct experience of most aspects of the EU better regulation agenda, ranging from impact assessment to ex-post evaluation and the measurement of administrative burdens.

Over the years, researchers at RPU have carried out a number of assignments for both the European Commission (DG ENTR, DG ENV, DG RTD, Secretariat General, etc.) and the European Parliament. Experience encompasses the preparation of: 

  • Studies on the cost of EU regulation (e.g. study on the cumulative costs of regulation in the steel and aluminium industries)
  • Impact assessments of new policies and legislative measures (e.g. impact assessment of a possible initiative for furniture products)
  • Ex-post evaluations of policy initiatives and expenditure programs (e.g. evaluation of the MAP program, ex-post assessment of the consequences of REACH for small and medium enterprises)
  • More methodologically-oriented work

The Regulatory Policy Unit is closely following and contributing to the EU’s better regulation debate, having recently concluded a report for the Secretariat General of the European Commission on existing methods to assess the costs and benefits of regulation. The report is expected to inform the ongoing revision of the Commission’s Impact Assessment Guidelines.

In 2014 the RPU authored a report on the internal market for services for the European Parliament. The goal is to obtain a better understanding of the ‘costs of non-Europe in the services market (i.e., the untapped potential stemming from incomplete European integration) and to identify the remaining obstacles to a single market in certain service sectors. The potential of a complete single services market to improve economic welfare was also examined.

The RPU also manages the CEPS project on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), in close cooperation with the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University. TTIP proposes novel regulatory solutions to long-recognised barriers in the trade of goods and services, and also covers market access to investment and investment protection.