Regulatory policy

Better Regulation in Europe: Denmark



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

Better Regulation in Europe: Denmark

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 Denmark are available by clicking on each chapter heading below.


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


Chapter 1: Strategy and policies for Better Regulation

  • Interest in Better Regulation has been sustained and developed over time.
  • The Danish agenda for Better Regulation has broadened to cover new aspects of regulatory quality and is now directed towards all stakeholders.
  • To sustain momentum, Denmark must now show clearly how Better Regulation policies combine and can be further developed into a strategy that supports long-term public policy goals.

Chapter 2: Institutional capacities for Better Regulation

  • Strong traditions of autonomous ministries have encouraged the development of a generally successful institutional framework adapted to these traditions.
  • The current institutional structures fall short, however, of providing a fully effective strategic motor for the optimal future development of Better Regulation policies.
  • Ownership of Better Regulation is developing across ministries, and needs further reinforcement, in particular with regard to impact assessment.

Chapter 3: Transparency through consultation and communication

  • Denmark has a tradition of deeply anchored consultation with key stakeholders as well as within government.
  • Important developments in the approaches deployed for consultation are boosting transparency and the engagement of a wider range of stakeholders.
  • Communication on regulations is a particularly strong element of the Danish regulatory system.

Chapter 4: The development of new regulations

  • The development of new regulations is carried out within a well organised and carefully orchestrated framework.
  • As in most other OECD countries, however, controlling the flow and complexity of new regulations remains a challenge.
  • Alternatives to regulation are among the tools of Better Regulation policy in Denmark, but it is unclear to what extent they have been used in practice in recent years.

Chapter 5: The management and rationalisation of existing regulations

  • Policies to simplify the stock of existing regulations need more systematic attention.
  • The action plan to reduce administrative burdens on business is a substantial, well run policy that has already delivered results.
  • Denmark appears to have successfully used the experience of its business administrative burden reduction programme to launch a new initiative aimed at reducing burdens on frontline public sector workers (the De-bureaucratisation Programme).

Chapter 6: Compliance, enforcement, appeals

  • A risk-based approach to enforcement has gathered momentum and needs further encouragement.
  • The appeal system rests on administrative procedures and complaint boards within ministries, with the general courts as last resort, and this seems to work well.

Chapter 7: The interface between the national level and the European Commission

  • The government has an effective, well managed and highly institutionalised internal co-ordination system for EU affairs.
  • Denmark has a very good performance as regards transposition but may need to pay closer attention to gold plating.

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

  • The De-bureaucratisation Programme engages the local level for the first time in a specific Better Regulation policy.
  • Local governments express concern over increased “documentation” requirements.
  • There seems to be effective and regular co-operation between the central and local levels of governments.

How to obtain this publication

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

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For further information, please contact Caroline Varley or Shayne MacLachlan