The opinion aims to outline the contribution of local and regional authorities, as well of the CoR as a consultative body of the EU, in ensuring that EU legislation and policies are of good quality, easily understood by business and the citizen and possible to implement in a simple and straightforward way. A particular focus of the opinion will be the CoR's activities on subsidiarity monitoring, impact assessment and the reduction of administrative burden.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- believes that smart regulation should entail a reduction in bureaucracy and administrative burdens not only for citizens and stakeholders but also for local and regional authorities; rejects, however, a purely quantitative approach to regulation;
- notes the increased references to the local and regional dimension of smart regulation, and to the related activities and capabilities of the CoR, as recognition of the role Europe's local authorities and regions have in EU policy making and the implementation of legislation;
- calls on the European Commission and other EU institutions to pay closer attention to local and regional government when designing legislation, assessing its impacts or devising ways to implement EU policies and objectives;
- feels that, in addition to the European Union's objective of territorial cohesion (At 3 TEU), both the horizontal clauses in the Lisbon Treaty on social (Article 9 TFEU) and environmental (Article 11 TFEU) requirements together with the triple focus of the Europe 2020 strategy require impact studies taking a balanced look at the impact of regulation in territorial, economic, social and environmental terms;
- states its readiness to assist the EU institutions with impact assessment endeavours, if data from local and regional authorities is needed, whilst recalling its limited resources and core mission;
- considers that there should be a common approach to impact assessment by the EU institutions, and that the CoR should be involved in the formulation of any such approach;
- endorses plans to review the Cooperation Agreement between the CoR and the European Commission, taking into account the institutional changes brought by the Lisbon Treaty, the necessity to implement multi-level governance and the evolution of the political role of the CoR, while making provision for the improvement and development of cooperation on impact assessment as well as for establishing a mechanism for a CoR contribution to the annual report on better lawmaking.