Government regulation creates the framework that makes it possible for everyone in society to work and live together. Regulation makes individual action possible while, at the same time, holding it in check. It is the quintessence of state power, defining what is allowed or prohibited, fostered or forbidden.
The way that regulations are designed, agreed on, passed, implemented and monitored essentially determines how citizens perceive their state, the amount of trust they have in it and the extent to which they are willing to both engage with it and support it.
Modern regulation is therefore much more than just writing legislation. If it is to be useful and be perceived as legitimate, and if it is to serve the public good, it must meet the needs of the public in terms of both its content and the process through which it comes into being.
As the introduction of mechanisms for measuring bureaucratic costs has shown, policy learning on an international level is a valuable resource. A national and cross-border exchange of information is therefore necessary and is supported by the project team through a number of endeavors, including the annual International Regulatory Reform Conference (www.IRR-Conference.org), the twice-yearly International Regulatory Reform Meeting (coinciding with each EU presidency), the International Regulatory Reform Network (www.IRR-Network.org) and other conferences and publications at the international, European and national levels.more
In order to increase the outcome-oriented nature of legislation, it is necessary to develop suitable tools (e.g. mechanisms for measuring administrative burden and for carrying out sustainability checks) and to establish the requisite structures and processes (e.g. a national regulatory control council and a national agency for reducing bureaucracy). To optimize execution, a strategy must be developed for carrying out benchmarks among administrative agencies, as is provided for in German law (Art. 91d GG). The project team is involved in supporting the creation of such tools and benchmarks.more
A key task that modern regulation must address is helping the public and other interested parties participate in political processes (e.g. through use of the Internet applications that invite public opinion and that help people get involved in policymaking activities). Increasingly, public participation is helping overcome shortcomings in democratic systems and improving processes and outcomes in the areas of policymaking and public administration. Participation by the public is thus seen as a key complement to the parliamentary process. At the same time, it is also a means for making regulation both tangible and comprehensible for society at large.more