This paper is part of a series of three on EU Agencies, EU Added Value and the EU’s Better Regulation policy. Together they give insight into the state of the EU’s efforts to strengthen evidence based policy making in the EU, indicating that the Commission's Better Regulation policy has come far indeed, but also that issues have remained as regards fact-based policymaking on a day-to-day basis.
The EU needs effective tools of governance to match its elaborate policy ambitions and to ensure that its economic standards warrant global economic competitiveness. In essence, European integration builds largely on legislation. Yet, fitting legislation and effective implementation, monitoring and enforcement have remained a challenge, as underlined by crises such as in migration, labour mobility, and financial markets, and by the drift of the EMU’s fiscal rules.
In his policy brief Adriaan Schout analyses the debate on the impact of EU agencies on EU governance and concludes that in 25 years this debate on governance and better regulations has insufficiently progressed or even regressed and that it needs to be put back on the agenda. EU agencies have to be set up so that their specific advantages can materialise and political decision making is complemented with independent fact-finding and monitoring.