Monitoring the application of EU legislation

EESC opinion: Monitoring the application of EU legislation

Key points:

The EESC highlights the importance of the following elements for devising suitable legislation which allows the goals of Article 3 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) to be met: the principles of proper implementation within deadlines, subsidiarity and proportionality; the precautionary principle; predictability; "think small first"; the external dimension of competitiveness; and the internal market test.

The EESC deems it essential to monitor application on the ground. It is also in favour of legislation that can adapt. It notes that it is not only the content of legislation but the legislative process itself that must be adaptable, so as to meet the needs of businesses and citizens. It believes that the applicability of Community law must be taken into account from the very beginning of the legislative cycle, when impact assessments are done, and that the European impact assessment ecosystem must continue to evolve.

The EESC stresses, however, that better regulation is not a substitute for political decisions and must on no account lead to deregulation or reduce the level of social, environmental or fundamental rights protection. The EESC believes that improving the way the Commission consults stakeholders is crucial for drafting legislation which is easy for Member States and stakeholders to implement.

The EESC can play a useful role here as intermediary between legislators and those who use EU legislation. It is, for its part, constantly adapting its working methods. Thus it recently decided to play an active part in an evaluation of the legislative cycle, carrying out its own ex-post evaluations of the EU acquis.