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This in-depth analysis commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, looks at the past and current developments in the EU better regulation agenda. The author finds that, despite important achievements that put the EU at the forefront in this field, many of the most ambitious reforms announced over the past few years are still far from complete. The in-depth analysis offers several policy recommendations ...

The purpose of better regulation is to make European Union laws and policies simpler, more targeted and easier to comply with. Since the early 2000s, better lawmaking has been high on the European agenda, and in April 2021 the European Commission published a new communication on better lawmaking. Parliament will debate and vote on the JURI committee's report on this communication during the July plenary session.

The ECB considers communication a critical instrument in its policy toolkit. Since its creation, the ECB has devoted significant attention to the mechanisms through which it conveys to the public information relevant to its decision-making and ensures its accountability. This policy briefing assesses whether existing ECB communication practises are adequate to continue ensuring the effectiveness and accountability of monetary policy in light of the recent and upcoming challenges that the ECB confronts ...

Policy-makers are seeking to 'future proof' policies in order to be better prepared for disruptive and unanticipated events. The application of foresight methods such as stress-testing can help achieve this goal. This study introduces a methodology for the European Parliament to stress-test legislation. The method can be integrated into existing law-making and scrutiny processes in the European Parliament. It draws on lessons learnt and recommendations stemming from independent research that encompassed ...

During the November I plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on an implementation report concerning the Regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and foundations. Parliament has to report on the application of the Regulation, and propose modifications where appropriate, by 31 December 2021, and every five years thereafter. The Commission is also required to present a parallel implementation report and a legislative proposal to amend the current regulation, if appropriate ...

Lobbying and foreign influence

Briefing 19-10-2021

Lobbying and foreign influence are normal, integrated activities in modern public policy-making and geopolitics. When these influencing activities are covert or illicit in nature, however, they can be damaging to public image and levels of public trust in our democratic societies and their institutions, including those of the EU. Although not a modern concept, the frequency and extent of covert influence activities by third countries have been increasing since the mid-2010s. In the EU, this has taken ...

At the first plenary session of March 2021, the European Parliament is set to discuss and adopt a resolution on the European Ombudsman's activities in the year 2019, based on the Ombudsman's annual report presented on 4 May 2020. The report covers the final year of Emily O'Reilly's first mandate as Ombudsman before her re election for a second term in late December 2019.

This study proposes an overview of the selection of Special Advisers to the European Commission, specifically during the period 2014-2019: the procedure followed, number of contracts, safeguards, contractual terms, budgetary implications, transparency, communication with the European Parliament. A review of literature, good practices and criteria for assessing the European Commission framework is provided. In conclusion this study makes recommendations on how to further strengthen it.

Independece of monetary authorities is a key tenet of modern central banking. Indepedence, however, must go hand in hand with accountability towards the public and its elected representatives. Four studies were prepared for the ECON Committee by the Monetary Expert Panel, comparing the accountability practices of major central banks in other juristictions (the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve) with those of the European Central Bank (ECB) and offering ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions, takes stock and assesses the existing rules and policies on conflicts of interests in EU agencies and examines whether, and/or how, scrutiny can be improved and whether there is a need to streamline and enhance the coherence of the various rules in place.