Regulatory policy

Better Regulation in Europe: Portugal



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

Better Regulation in Europe: Portugal

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 Portugal 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

  • Set out a strategic vision for the further development of Better Regulation policies over the coming few years, based on the initiatives that have already been set in motion. Establish a communication strategy for Better Regulation both inside the administration and for external stakeholders, which also underlines achievements to date.
  • Provide for the ex post evaluation of Better Regulation strategy and specific initiatives, so that the insights obtained can be used to strengthen the policy over time.
  • Consider whether to commission studies that would help to highlight and quantify the link between Better Regulation policies and improvements in the performance of the economy (especially micro effects such as new business formation).
  • Continue to make the roll out of e-Government in support of Better Regulation a priority.

Chapter 2: Institutional capacities for Better Regulation

  • Develop a more co-ordinated approach to Better Regulation within the Presidency of the Council of Ministers so that officials can work together and share experiences on linked issues. Consider how resources and relevant competences can be strengthened for CEJUR, so that it can effectively meet its responsibilities for the Legislar Melhor Programme.
  • Identify a high-level committee to take responsibility for Better Regulation, supported by a secretariat in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, to which ministries would report progress on a regular basis. Within individual ministries, a Better Regulation contact point should be established to liaise with the central structures, co-ordinate reporting, and promote best practice.
  • Consider establishing an independent external advisory body of business and other representatives to support the development of Better Regulation policies.
  • Initiatives should be taken to strengthen the contact and co-operation between the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the parliament over the development of Better Regulation tools and processes, in particular ex ante impact assessment of new legislation, and databases.

Chapter 3: Transparency through consultation and communication

  • Ensure that the new legal framework and Code of Good Practice under development includes clear instructions to consult early in the process of developing regulations and to provide feedback.
  • As well as current initiatives under the Legislar Melhor Programme, consideration should be given to establishing common commencement dates for the introduction of new regulations.

Chapter 4: The development of new regulations

  • Refine the Simplex Test procedure to ensure that assessments are updated as a draft progresses. Put in place a system for assessing the impact of new regulation to capture the full consequences (benefits as well as costs) of draft regulations.
  • Take steps to publish impact assessments, at least when the draft is communicated to the parliament, and engage external stakeholders systematically in the impact assessment procedures.
  • Consider how CEJUR can be strengthened, in order to support and if necessary challenge ministries in the development of impact assessments.
  • The government and the parliament should exchange views and ideas on the further development of impact assessment relating to draft bills that will be enacted by the parliament.
  • Consider how to further raise awareness and embed the use of alternatives in the regulatory culture, including setting up specific guidance for officials.

Chapter 5: The management and rationalisation of existing regulations

  • Ongoing initiatives to consolidate the regulatory stock should continue to be pursued systematically. Consideration should be given to the more systematic introduction of sunset or revision clauses in new regulations.
  • To provide an effective institutional framework for the next stage of the Simplex Programme, each relevant ministry should be equipped with a contact point or a small central unit to provide support to ministry officials carrying out the measurements and implementing the measures identified.

Chapter 6: Compliance, enforcement, appeals

  • Review the practical experience of some other OECD countries in the deployment of a risk-based approach to enforcement and inspections, with a view to developing a policy adapted to its situation.
  • The Ministry of Justice should be strongly supported in its ongoing efforts to deal with congested courts.

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

  • Elaborate a stronger policy and guidance for the approach to the negotiation and transposition of EU regulations, after consulting with stakeholders within and outside the administration.

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

  • Sustain efforts to promote Better Regulation across municipalities via the Simplex Autárquico Programme. Further effort should be made to promote best practice and coherence in the enforcement of regulations across the country (beyond the reduction of administrative burdens) and provide support to local governments.


How to obtain this publication

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

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For further information, please contact Caroline Varley or Shayne MacLachlan