Regulatory policy

Better Regulation in Europe: Germany



Contents | Executive summary | How to obtain this publication | More information 

Better Regulation in Europe: Germany

The EU 15 Better Regulation project is a partnership between the OECD and the European Commission. It draws on the initiatives for Better Regulation promoted by both organisations over the last few years.


The OECD report, including recommendations on Better Regulation in Germany are available by clicking on each chapter heading below.


The Executive Summary (pdf format) contains the OECD assessment and recommendations.

Download the report in German: Bessere Rechtsetzung in Europa Deutschland


Chapter 1: Strategy and policies for Better Regulation

  • Make sure that there is a balanced development of Better Regulation policies.
  • Consider the development of a White Paper which proposes an ambitious and interesting vision for future developments.
  • Develop a communication strategy which explains the link between Better Regulation and practical outcomes and advantages for businesses, citizens and the economy.

Chapter 2: Institutional capacities for Better Regulation

  • Confirm the future of the Federal Chancellery Better Regulation unit and its role as the visible face of Better Regulation in the federal structures.
  • Confirm a commitment to the NRCC (Normenkontrollrat) in support of Better Regulation.
  • Consider how to strengthen co-operative mechanisms between core Better Regulation ministries (Interior, Justice, Economics and Finance, as well as Environment for sustainability) so that synergies between related initiatives are captured.
  • Strengthen the dialogue with the Länder on Better Regulation, building on existing initiatives.

Chapter 3: Transparency through consultation and communication

  • Carry out a comprehensive evaluation of consultation practices by federal ministries, as a starting point for establishing a clear and enforceable set of common guidelines for public consultation.

Chapter 4: The development of new regulations

  • Post all impact assessments on line at a single website, alongside the Interior ministry guidelines.
  • Consider how to extend impact assessment so that it covers all important secondary regulations.
  • Consider whether there is scope to strengthen the dialogue between the federal government and the parliament with respect to the efficient development of legislation.
  • Review, with interested Länder, whether the current arrangements for their involvement in the development of federal legislation is enough to secure a clear view of implications for implementation downstream.
  • Consider a review of the extent to which alternatives to regulation is picked up as an option before the decision is made to proceed with a regulation.

Chapter 5: The management and rationalisation of existing regulations

  • Commit to the continuation of the administrative burden reduction programme and to its development in terms of scope. Arrange for a rapid but complete independent evaluation of the programme to pinpoint how and to what extent it should be developed.
  • Commission an independent survey of the “regulatory burden cascade”. Where do burdens (and irritants) actually arise, and who is responsible for the relevant regulations that contain them?
  • Tighten up the current target. Divide it between ministries. Confirm it as a net target.
  • Review the capacities and resources of the federal chancellery Better Regulation unit and of the NRCC for supporting an enhanced programme.

Chapter 6: Compliance, enforcement, appeals

  • Ensure that the ex post evaluation of regulations is used effectively for assessing compliance rates. Ensure that the ex ante impact assessment of draft regulations examines enforcement issues downstream.
  • Ensure that the impact of the 2006 federal reform is evaluated for its effect on Länder implementation of federal legislation. Consider whether further dialogue with interested Länder would be helpful in order to stimulate new approaches to enforcement, such as risk based inspections.

Chapter 7: The interface between member countries and the European Commission

  • Review the extent to which impact assessment is applied for EU origin regulations, both at the negotiation and the transposition stages, and the approach which is taken.
  • Carry out a review of transposition processes, in co-ordination with the Länder. Consider how the system could be improved with incentives (and sanctions) for late transposition.
  • Use the EU dimension to frame German Better Regulation more clearly as a potentially key contributor to growth, competitiveness and jobs.

Chapter 8: The interface between sub national and national levels of government

  • Consider a review/evaluation of co-operation agreements and working groups, to pinpoint what works and what works less well (and why). Seek to identify Better Regulation processes (such as administrative burden reduction) or issues (such as sustainability) where there is shared interest in enhanced co-operation.
  • Consider an evaluation of the extent to which competition between the Länder really does stimulate best practices, and the extent to which these are picked up across the Länder. Consider a survey of business views to check attitudes to the German internal market and its efficiency (in terms of harmonised regulatory approaches across the Länder).

How to obtain this publication

Download the complete PDF e-book: Better Regulation in Europe: Germany 

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For further information, please contact Caroline Varley or Shayne MacLachlan