EU Forum

Comitology and Regulatory Burdens: A Blind Spot?

03 Sep 2014 - 10:50

The reduction of regulatory burdens is one of the new spearheads on the European Commission’s agenda. Several tools have been developed to prevent and cure EU legislation from excessive regulatory burdens such as reduction action programmes and the continuous improvement of impact assessments (IA).

However, in the depths of EU decision-making, comitology is allegedly still one of the remaining sources of high and unnecessary regulatory costs. This policy brief examines these indictments and comes to the conclusion that comitology is something which should be taken seriously.

The current reduction tools bypass this step in decision-making, which is why it remains a blind spot. Possible improvements to the EU quality control mechanism might include an improved IA system that includes substantive compliance costs as well as an ex post or interim control mechanism. Furthermore, cost reduction cannot be obtained by the Commission alone, and member states are indispensable to tackle the myth about regulatory burdens stemming from comitology.