Better Regulation has been the ideological mainstay of the Juncker Commission and the driving force behind its vigorous application of the principle of ‘political discontinuity’. In May, this agenda was given further momentum with the publication of a new Better Regulation Package. Although the Commission maintains that the package has no deregulatory purpose, concerns have been raised that the actual proposals for new bodies and procedures seem designed to reduce regulatory activities at EU level and to reduce overall regulatory costs. Central to this ‘better regulation’ package is a proposal for a revised Inter-Institutional Agreement on Better Lawmaking on which a deal is expected to be reached by the end of 2015. If left unchanged, this would bind the European Parliament and Council not only to the political priorities of President Juncker, but also to its overall approach to better regulation. Concerns have also been raised about the impact of the proposed transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) on the EU’s ability to set ambitious binding standards for the protection of, amongst others, the environment, health and working conditions. The purpose of this session is to have a frank and open debate about the implications of these developments for the ability of Europe to embark on a comprehensive and sustainable reform agenda and in particular on anticipated proposals for a circular economy and sound management of chemicals, and the ongoing review of the Birds and Habitats Directive.
Moderator: Pieter de Pous, EU Policy Director, EEB
Rapporteur: Laurens Ankersmit, Lawyer, EU Trade and Environment, Client Earth
Riccardo Maggi, Member of the Cabinet of First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, European Commission
Joost Mulder, Head of Public Affairs, Finance Watch
Joined by Silvia Albrizio, Economics Department, OECD