Better regulation and the future of EU regulatory law and politics.

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Series Details Vol.53, No.5, October 2016, p1209–1235
Publication Date August 2016
ISSN 0165-0750
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The flurry of recent activity in the EU over “Better Regulation” has important constitutional implications, particularly for the Union’s institutional balance. As this article will argue, however, the main question the Better Regulation debate poses is one of how to reconcile the increasing tension in the EU between different paradigms of regulation.

Is regulation “better” because it conforms to the preferences of citizens as expressed in national and EU elections, or rather because it meets technical and procedural standards, from consultation to impact assessment, able to improve the “objective” quality of EU legislation?

While Better Regulation tries to split the difference between these two avenues for the future of EU regulatory law and politics, each avenue carries the capacity to significantly frustrate the other. Current debates in the EU about regulatory reform defer rather than answer a fundamental question: what makes regulation better?

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