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Better Regulation’ with ‘Make it Work’: An assessment of the Make it Work’s Drafting Principles on Compliance Assurance

Lorenzo Squintani

elni Review 2016, Issue 1, pp. 2-9. https://doi.org/10.46850/elni.2016.001

The ‘better regulation’ agenda developed as a follow-up to the 2000 Lisbon Strategy. Especially after the 2002 ‘Better Law-Making’ Communication, the subsequent initiatives on ‘better’ and ‘smart’ regulation have added to simplification a fairly strong emphasis on reducing administrative burdens. In the context of EU law, environmental legislation is considered one of the sectors that is suitable for simplification and a reduction of administrative burdens. While mainly focusing on the European Environmental acquis, the Better Regulation programme has highlighted on several occasions that the lack of simplification and the presence of burdens may actually derive from national (environmental) law. 
Led by the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany, a group of about 14 member states created the so-called Make it Work (MiW) Project. This project is a form of international cooperation between states, but, at the same time, it aims at influencing the functioning of the European Union. Indeed, this network of states “wants to open an ongoing debate on how the clarity, coherence and structure of EU environmental legislation can be improved, making it simpler for Member States to implement and easier for businesses and others to comply.” The MiW Project works on the basis of topics, which are discussed in meetings presided by civil servants at ministerial level with expertise on the subject matter of the discussion. The main output of these meetings is the drafting principles on making EU environmental legislation smarter, both generally and for specific policies, tools and procedures. 
Given the limited space available for this article, only a selection of drafting principles is discussed in this article. In order to provide a context to this selection, an overall description of the MiW Guiding Principles of Compliance Assurance is given.

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