Lords European Union Committee

Thursday 8 September 2005


A new Report calls for the EU Institutions and UK Presidency to ensure better regulation initiatives are implemented efficiently to reduce burdens on business and to ensure economic growth.

(These initiatives seek to simplify and 'spring clean' existing EU legislation and help ensure future laws are more fit for purpose.)

Lord Grenfell, Chairman of the Lords European Union Committee, said:

"Without more effective regulation it will be difficult to promote Europe's competitiveness, stimulate economic growth and employment and improve the European Union's image."

"We welcome the Commission's better regulation initiatives but now call for action to ensure that ideas are implemented and that a change in attitude towards regulation is apparent across the European Union."

"The Government must ensure that the better regulation programme is seen to be at the top of the European Union's political agenda and given appropriate publicity during the UK Presidency of the EU."

The Committee concludes that:

  • The European Union could improve its image if it begins to demonstrate more effective regulation.

  • All key legislative proposals should be accompanied by an impact assessment to ensure that all possible policy options have been assessed.

  • The European Council and the European Parliament should meet their commitment under the Inter-Institutional Agreement on Better Law-Making to adopt structures to expedite simplification proposals.

  • Consultation should be better targeted and conducted as a meaningful and worthwhile process.

  • The Government should focus on turning existing plans for effective regulation into reality during the period of the UK Presidency.



1. The inquiry was conducted by the European Union Select Committee. The members of the Select Committee are:

Lord Blackwell
Lord Bowness
Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
Lord Dubs
Lord Geddes
Lord Goodhart
Lord Grenfell (Chairman)
Lord Hannay of Chiswick
Lord Harrison
Lord Maclennan of Rogart
Lord Marlesford
Lord Neill of Bladen
Lord Radice
Lord Renton of Mount Harry
Baroness Thomas of Walliswood
Lord Tomlinson
Lord Woolmer of Leeds
Lord Wright of Richmond

2. The report is published by The Stationery Office: Ensuring Effective Regulation in the European Union, House of Lords, Select Committee on the European Union, 9th Report, Session 2005-06, HL Paper 33, ISBN 0 10 400742 7, price £15.50. The full text of the report will be available on the internet via http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeucom/33/3302.htm shortly after publication.

3. The Committee heard evidence from a wide variety of witnesses including Commissioner Verheugen, European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry and The Rt. Hon John Hutton MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

4. The Report is a response to the European Union institution's Better Regulation initiatives, in particular the Commission Communication of 16 March 2005, 'Better Regulation for Growth and Jobs in the European Union' COM (2005) 97 final. Available via http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/site/en/com/2005/com2005_0097en01.pdf

For copies of the Report or requests for interviews with Lord Grenfell (on Thursday 8 September) please contact:

Jillian Bailey, Press and Publicity Officer (Committees) on 020 7219 8659