Every so often you get a call that makes you praise the day and thank that common sense is sometimes listened to inside the Commission.
Today was one of those days.
Someone very high up in the Commission has forced the Commission Services to change their position on REACH and Better Regulation.
Substance bans in the EU introduced by REACH are by way of delegated legislation. After a substance has gone through the ECHA process there is, if nominated for a substance ban or restriction, very little you as a user or producer can do. For a long time, the Commission Services dealing with REACH have resisted REACH being brought under the Better Regulation rules.
It seems after reading this public consultation – here – and the 4 week review – the days of rubber stamped bans are gone.
The public consultation documents are well reading. The Commission mentions that they have socio-economic impact assessments for the bans they want introduced. I wonder if people impacted by the ban will put forward a FoI request for the assessment.
Many people may not like the more political and less technical Commission of today. But, sometimes it takes the political grown ups to step in, ignore the bureaucratic and political inertia, and force the sunlight of open law making to shine in. When they do, delegated laws that ignore common sense, like the withdrawn roaming charge rules, are snatched back. This new ethos will force Cabinets to take control of even delegated legislation, and help them make sure the bans they intend to introduce do not have deeply harming unintended (or intended) impacts.