20 ways to win negotiations in Brussels – John Gummer reveals the answers

John Gummer’s article in today in the Guardian shows a master negotiators hand.

Britain got its way in the EU when it mattered – I know, I was there

 

For ease of reference I have pasted it below.

I have known John Gummer since my school days in a Roman Catholic school in Suffolk, UK. John Gummer bravely converted to Catholicism in the 1980s. He came to my school to give a talk on the famous covert, Cardinal John Henry Newman. He also gave me the Politics Department Prize.

I have bumped into him when working in DG Environment and WWF. He is an honourable and decent man. I don’t hold the same party card as him, but I knew him as a most able British Minister, who won many victories in EU talks for the UK.

Negotiating is good

The simple truth is that negotiation is the best solution to getting a good deal. Some people tell me it is sign of weakness.  I think chest beating like a gorilla makes your position look deranged.

Now, I’ll admit as a Roman Catholic from N.Ireland I probably have some issues about alternatives to negotiation. But, as the Good Friday Agreement shows, it’s the best way for people to settle their differences.

In my experience of passing laws in Brussels, especially in the DG Environment and working for Labour politicians in the European Parliament, I came across the strange tactic of the US Government intervening, in Brussels or national capitals, to try and stop an EU environmental measure.

I say strange because every time I encountered it, it always led to a lot more votes switching over to my side than I could ever have hoped for. In fact, I landed up hoping the USTR would start lobbying against the law I was working on, as it meant getting it past was made a sure thing.

 

20 Rules for Negotiating in the EU

  1. Fight your corner fairly
  2. Have a reputation as an informed and committed negotiator
  3. Don’t lecture
  4. Have strong relationships with those your are negotiating with
  5. Develop friendships with those you are negotiating with
  6. Be honest about your political needs
  7. Be trusted
  8. Debate with proof and respond with proof
  9. Act consensually
  10. Act in your national interest when you need to
  11. Look for a solution
  12. Lead with solutions
  13. Bring the science
  14. Work the room
  15. Never pretend
  16. Always turn up
  17. Know everyones positions
  18. Work very hard
  19. Avoid easy silly political wins
  20. My favourite “Listening, arguing, explaining and showing we believed in the system and wanted to learn as well as teach – that made all the difference.”

 

 

 

Britain got its way in the EU when it mattered – I know, I was there

We are unravelling the greatest peacetime project of our lives because Brexiteers insist we’ve lost control. But it’s simply not true

John Gummer served as environment secretary in John Major’s Conservative government between 1993 and 1997

horses
‘In a single market, the UK’s refusal to allow the export of live horses for food was clearly illegal but politically essential.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Acontinuing refrain of the Brexiteers is that Britain has always lost out to the rest of Europe in negotiations. This derives partly from the way successive governments have portrayed the EU as a battleground in which there is room only for victory or defeat. It is also explained by the tendency of politicians to blame “Europe” for everything – often to divert attention from their own shortcomings.

In fact, the UK has led Europe in a remarkable way, and has rarely failed to gain its major objectives. However the process is one of debate and argument, proof and counter-argument, rather than demanding that the rest of EU should immediately see the sense in our position and give way without question. It is this assumption of always being right that has bedevilled our relationships with our neighbours.

When I first went into the Department of the Environment (DoE) on a Monday in 1993 I looked at my diary. Fresh from four years as minister of agriculture, I knew that there was a two-day meeting of the European Council of Environment Ministers ahead, yet there seemed nothing in the diary. “Why,” I asked. “Oh,” said the civil servant, “the secretary of state doesn’t go to Brussels unless we have something to tell them to do.”

That changed there and then, and I sat at the council table the following Thursday. Facing the first controversial discussion, I asked my adviser what the Spanish position was. “Well,” came the reply, “we haven’t spoken to them since Christmas, so I’m not sure.” Similarly semi-detached attitudes were revealed throughout that first session.

It came as a real shock after my long period at Agriculture, where the UK had built a reputation for informed and committed negotiation. My predecessors there, Michael Jopling and John MacGregor, had built strong relationships with their fellow EU ministers. They trusted us and we trusted most of them. They knew that we would act consensually wherever possible, would try to understand their political drivers, and would be absolutely honest about our own political needs. As a result none of us lost a vote that really mattered – even when the logic was wholly against the British position.

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One example suffices. In a single market, the UK’s refusal to allow the export of live horses for food was clearly illegal but politically essential. All the odds were stacked against us, Belgium was becoming increasingly insistent, and a vote was looming. We had one strong card: our relationships. We had helped others in parallel positions, helping to find ways for the EU to meet its common objectives while recognising national differences.

My very effective minister of state, David Curry, and I had formed friendships and we took trouble to maintain them. Many of our fellow ministers had come to Britain and stayed at our homes. Above all, we had never pretended. They all knew that if we said something was really important to the UK, we weren’t bluffing.

We were always communautaire – but in the national interest. When the relatively new French minister, a socialist, in a very restricted session, without his key advisers, had agreed to something that would have been very difficult for France, I slipped round the table and pointed the problem out. He was able to retrieve the situation, the council was saved interminable recriminations, and Britain had a firm friend. Working as a team, clearly putting our national interest first but ensuring we got the best out of the EU, meant that when it mattered we won. I don’t suggest that my counterparts ever really understood the peculiar British view that it’s all right to eat beef but not horse, but they accepted it was a political reality and knew the UK would help when they had to explain their own national singularities.

Mind you, you had to work at it. My first meeting of EU environment ministers was decidedly frosty, as I sought to defend the government’s support for Shell’s decision to dump the Brent Spar oil facility in the North Sea, to a council dominated by the leftwing Danish minister, Svend Auken. Lecturing them would have fitted the British stereotype but done us no favours. Listening, arguing, explaining and showing we believed in the system and wanted to learn as well as teach – that made all the difference.

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I learned too that the Department of the Environment’s previous way of working in Europe was shared by other British government departments. Yet, once we got a more constructive attitude to prevail, we found we achieved a better result. And the success for Britain was manifest. The BSE crisis could have destroyed the British meat industry. In the event, solidarity won over the temptation for easy political wins from our continental competitors. They knew that they, too, could have problems that only solidarity and commitment to the science would solve. They knew, too, that in those circumstances we wouldn’t take advantage, although we’d fight our corner as toughly as any.

And active, supportive membership helped us win battles back at home. In 1993 we were still seen as the dirty man of Europe. We were fighting to keep universal landfill; we had sewage on our beaches; and our water quality left much to be desired. EU environment rules made us put all that right. We became leaders on environmental agriculture and on climate change, but we learned as well as led. We were not semi-detached but committed to the EU – the greatest peacetime project of our lives, which through arrogance and poisonous self-regard we now seek to undo.

John Gummer, Lord Deben, is a Conservative peer who served in John Major’s government as secretary of state for the environment between 1993 and 1997

 

 

The Columnists I Always Read

I want insight and humour. I read to be informed, entertained, and in the current madness, reminded that sanity is still out there.

I am repulsed by blowhards and fools.  There is too much choice if you want poor drag acts holding themselves as providing informed comment.

EuroComment’s Peter Ludlow gives a fly on the wall, blow by blow account of the meetings of the European Council. He writes with wit and masterful insight. My only regret, is that in only gets published 6-9 times a year.

The Financial Times – FT – gives me nearly all I need. It’s got two of the best columnists out there. Lucy Kellaway shoots down fools and ijiats.  Wolfgang Munchau provides a welcome non-Anglo-American perspective. I regret I am confined to a Anglo-American viewpoint.

Jennifer Rankin at the Guardian does a great job on reporting on the great British Brexit train wreck. One looks forward to her next tale of incompetence.

The Daily Telegraph’s Christopher Booker and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard seem like refugees from a bygone era when the Telegraph saw itself as a serious journal of record. Today, it seems sadly desperate to sell itself off to “friends of Nigel” and peddling there ever delusional vision of “Acorn tea and rat stew” paradise of Brexit Britain. I enjoy reading a different perspective than my own.

Brussels is well served by Politico. It has the freshest leaks – how many sanctioned is never clear – and has a stable of talented and insightful readers. Their reporting on negotiations is timely, accurate and well written.
On a weekly basis, I have a flashback and remind myself that excellent writing, civility, and free trade where once the order of the day. The Economist  provides an hour or two of welcome decency and fine writing.

Every Friday I catch up with Chemical Watch – for work-  and rediscover that complex subjects can be crafted into clear and plain writing in the hands of a talented writer.

 

 

Juncker’s State of the Union 2017

European Commission President Juncker presented his 2017 State of the Union address on 13 September. This outlines the priority actions for the remainder of the Juncker Commission.

 

At the same as President Junker delivered his speech to the European Parliament, he transmitted a Letter of Intent to the Parliament and Council (here). More importantly, the College of Commissioners adopted 41 proposals. You can see the proposals here and in the Annex.

The Letter of Intent outlines 10 priorities; each priority itself divided in two separate groups.

The first group are initiatives to be launched and/or completed by the end of 2018. The intention is that all proposals to be adopted under this Commission will be adopted by May 2018.  In practice, this means that all proposals will be adopted by the College by  1st quarter 2018.  This will allow them to secure political adoption by the end of this Commission’s mandate.  Some key files like the budget will need to be adopted.

The second group are a set of initiatives to be launched with ‘ a 2025 perspective’. The Commission have a strict line on “political discontinuity”. The intention for the second group is to launch reviews of current legislation.
The Commission corridors post May 2018 will be lonely places. As the Commission found out when started to look at the habitats and nature directive, there are few prizes for opening up sacred crowds.

This will work in tandem with the “subsidiarity and proportionality” task force led by 1st Vice-President Timmermans. This Task Force will be something to watch.  It will give an opportunity for interests who want to encourage reflection for revision of existing legislation to develop evidence to support their case and bring this material to the table.

Some of the proposals, like the Task Force, caught even the Commissioner by surprise.

 

 

 

STATE OF THE UNION 2017

Letter of Intent to President Antonio Tajani and to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas

 

Roadmap for a More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union

 

Priority 1: A new boost for jobs, growth and investment

Initiatives to be launched and/or completed by end 2018

Circular Economy package to boost innovation, jobs and growth, including:

  • a strategy on plastics working towards all plastic packaging on the EU market being recyclable by 2030
  • a proposal for a Regulation on Waste Water Reuse;
  • a revision of the Drinking Water Directive;
  • and a monitoring framework for the Circular Economy.

 

Initiatives to be launched with a 2025 perspective

  • Reflection Paper ‘Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030’ on the follow-up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

 

Priority 3: A resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy

Initiatives to be launched and/or completed by end 2018

Swift adoption by the co-legislators of the Commission proposals to implement the Energy Union and Climate Change policy, including:

  • the Clean Energy for all Europeans package;
  • the Climate package;
  • and the Europe on the Move package.

Mobility and Climate Change package, including legislative proposals on:

  • clean vehicles;
  • common rules for combined transport of goods;
  • CO2 standards for cars and vans;
  • fuel-efficiency and CO2 standards for lorries, buses and coaches;
  • and an initiative to accelerate the delivery of the alternative fuels infrastructure.

 

 

Initiatives to be launched with a 2025 perspective

  • Communication on the future of EU energy and climate policy, including on the future of the Euratom Treaty (taking account of Declaration No 54 of five Member States added to the Final Act of the Lisbon Treaty) and on the possible use of Article 192(2), second subparagraph TFEU

 

Priority 4:  A Deeper and fairer internal market with a strengthened industrial base

Initiatives to be launched/and/or completed by 2018

  • A renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy to foster industrial competitiveness, innovation and technological leadership for fair and good-quality jobs in industry and to make use of the potential of digital technologies across all industrial sectors.

 

Priority 6: Trade: a balanced and progressive trade policy to harness globalisation

Initiatives to be launched and/or completed by end 2018

Trade package, including:

  • a Communication on an upgraded, values-based, sustainable and transparent trade policy that helps harnessing globalisation and ensures a balanced approach on open and fair trade agreement;
  • draft mandates for launching negotiations with Australia and New Zealand;
  • a draft mandate for a new Multilateral Investment Court System;
  • a European framework for the screening of foreign direct investment in the EU on grounds of public order and security.

Swift adoption by the co-legislators of the proposals to modernise the EU trade defence instruments and amend its anti-dumping methodology, and the amended proposal concerning an International Procurement Instrument.

  • Finalising agreements with Japan, Singapore and Vietnam;
  • Pursuing negotiations with Mexico and Mercosur.

 

Priority 10: A Union of democratic change

Swift agreement by the co-legislators on the proposed amendments to the Comitology Regulation.

Initiatives to be launched with a 2025 perspective

  • Communication on further enhancing subsidiarity;
  • Proportionality and better regulation in the daily operation of the European Union.

 

 

Detailed Annex

The proposals in the State of Union adopted yesterday were:
DG – Title

 

CNECT:  framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the European UnionPDF (English)
SG Communication: welcoming Foreign Direct Investment while Protecting Essential Interests

TRADE

PDF (English)
Trade Recommendation for a COUNCIL DECISION authorising the opening of negotiations for a Convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputesPDF (English)
Trade  Communication  A Balanced and Progressive Trade Policy to Harness GlobalisationPDF (English)
Trade Report on the Implementation of the Trade Policy Strategy Trade for All Delivering a Progressive Trade Policy to Harness GlobalisationPDF (English)
Trade Proposal for a Regulation: establishing a framework for screening of foreign direct investments into the European UnionPDF (English)
GROW Communication: the 2017 list of Critical Raw Materials for the EUPDF (English)
HOME:  Proposal for a Council on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment and replacing Council Framework DecisionPDF (English)
SG Proposal for a Regulation on the European citizens’ initiativePDF (English)

 

 

SG Proposal for a statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations

SG Communication  Investing in a smart, innovative and sustainable Industry: A renewed EU Industrial Policy StrategyPDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

CNECT  the evaluation of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA)PDF (English)
CNECT Proposal for a Regulation on ENISA, the “EU Cybersecurity Agency”, and repealing Regulation (EU) 526/2013, and on Information and Communication Technology cybersecurity certification (”Cybersecurity Act”)PDF (English)
CNECT Communication Making the most of NIS – towards the effective implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/1148 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the UnionPDF (English)
HOME Report from the Commission assessing the extent to which the Member States have taken the necessary measures in order to comply with Directive 2013/40/EU on attacks against information systems and replacing Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHAPDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

            DG TRADE
TRADE Recommendation for a Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with AustraliaPDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

TRADE Recommendation for a Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with New ZealandPDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

DG RESEARCH INNOVATION

RTD Commission implementing Decision on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
RTD Commission implementing Decision

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
 

RTD Commission implementing Decision

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

LS Commission Decision

DÉCISION DE LA COMMISSION portant approbation de pouvoirs dans des affaires contentieuses devant la Cour de justice et le Tribunal

Document request
MARE Decision (letter)

Lettre au ministre des Affaires étrangères du Royaume Uni

Document request
JRC Commission Decision

COMMISSION DECISION regarding the distribution of the software Invasive Alien Species Europe (EASIN)

Document request
HOME Commission implementing Decision

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION amending Commission Implementing Decision C(2015) 8913 approving the national programme of Sweden for support from the Internal Security Fund for the period from 2014 to 2020

Document request
TRADE Commission Decision

COMMISSION DECISION setting up the Group of Experts on EU Trade Agreements

Document request
CNECT Commission Recommendation on Coordinated Response to Large Scale Cybersecurity Incidents and CrisesDocument request
DG REGIONAL AND URBAN POLICY

REGIO Commission implementing Decision 3083 approving certain elements of the operational programme “Environment” for support from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Investment for growth and jobs goal in the Czech Republic CCI 2014CZ16M1OP002

Document request
EEAS Draft decision EEA Joint Committee

DRAFT DECISION OF THE EEA JOINT COMMITTEE No …/… amending Annex I (Veterinary and phytosanitary matters) to the EEA Agreement

Document request
EEAS Draft decision EEA Joint Committee

DRAFT DECISION OF THE EEA JOINT COMMITTEE No …/… amending Annex I (Veterinary and phytosanitary matters) to the EEA Agreement

Document request
EEAS Draft decision EEA Joint Committee

DRAFT DECISION OF THE EEA JOINT COMMITTEE No …/… amending Annex I (Veterinary and phytosanitary matters) to the EEA Agreement

SECRETARIAT-GENERAL

Communication from the Commission to the Institutions

Sec-Gen Communication Resilience, Deterrence and Defence: Building strong cybersecurity for the EU

Document request
SERVICE FOR FOREIGN POLICY INSTRUMENTS

Joint Proposal for a Council Regulation on restrictive measures in view of the situation in Mali

Document request
CNET – COMMUNICATINS NETWORKS, CONTENT & TECHNOLOGY

Staff working document

on the evaluation of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) Accompanying the document Proposal for a regulation on ENISA, the “EU Cybersecurity Agency”, and repealing Regulation (EU) 526/2013, and on Information and Communication Technology cybersecurity certification (”Cybersecurity Act”)

Document request
CNECT Impact Assessment Summary Accompanying the document Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on ENISA, the “EU Cybersecurity Agency”, and repealing Regulation (EU) 526/2013, and on Information and Communication Technology cybersecurity certification (”Cybersecurity Act”)PDF (English)
CNET Impact Assessment

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Accompanying the document REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on ENISA, the “EU Cybersecurity Agency”, and repealing Regulation (EU) 526/2013, and on Information and Communication Technology cybersecurity certification

PDF (English)
Impact Assessment Summary

Executive Summary of the IA

PDF (English)
Impact Assessment

Impact Assessment

PDF (English)
TRADE

Impact Assessment Summary

Commission Staff Working Document Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes

PDF (English)
Impact Assessment

Commission Staff Working Document Impact Assessment Multilateral reform of investment dispute resolution Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes

PDF (English)
DG MIGRATION AND HOME AFFAIRS

Impact Assessment Summary

Executive summary of the impact assessment

Impact Assessment

Proposition de directive du Parlement européen et du Conseil concernant la lutte contre la fraude et la contrefaçon des moyens de paiement autres que les espèces et remplaçant la décision-cadre 2001/413/JAI du Conseil

PDF (English)
DG TRADE

Staff working document

Commission Staff Working Document Accompanying the document Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for screening of foreign direct investments in the European Union

Document request
DG COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS, CONTENT TECHNOLOGY

Staff working document

Assessment of the EU 2013 cybersecurity strategy

Document request
Staff working document

Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal for a Regulation on the European citizens’ initiative

Document request
DG TRADE

Impact Assessment

Commission Staff Working Document Impact Accessment Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Australia

PDF (English)
Impact Assessment Summary

Commission Staff Working Document Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Australia

PDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

Impact Assessment Summary

Commission Staff Working Document Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand

PDF (English)

PDF (other languages)

Impact Assessment

Commission Staff Working Document Impact Assessment Accompanying the document Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand

EU Better Regulation in 10 easy Charts & Checklists

 

The current guidelines, 19.5.2015, are here. They are 91 pages long.  They are supported by a Toolbox (here) of 414 pages. This rule book has been updated. It has been transmitted to the European Parliament and Council. It is now  90 pages of detailed guidelines and supported by a 500 page Toolbox.

I would recommend that you read this Manual. But, in case you don’t want to, I have listed some of the most useful checklists and charts.

In Praise of Better Regulation 

I have been an isolated supporter of ‘Better Regulation’. I think it is the most revolutionary and positive action of the Juncker Commission.

There is a virtue in the certainty in the preparation and development of policy and law. Bruno Leoni, in Freedom and the Law, writes about the importance of officials discretion being limited by clear rules..

The Guidelines provide a clear set of rules that any official can follow. The Guidelines are so clearly written so there should be no reason why they are not followed.

I welcome two main aspects of the Guidelines.

First, by codifying good practice it limits administrative discretion in developing new rules. It places weaker restraints on the exercise of political discretion by Commissioners, and very few on elected MEPs or Member States. Politicians and governments, as a broad class, are reluctant to have their hands tied, let alone follow basic good practice.

Second, it opens up European law making to public scrutiny. Now there is a lot of scrutiny. I am not sure how many people login into to it. I check it out every week. You can find it here.

 

Better Regulation is about ‘designing EU policies and laws so that they achieve their objects at minimum costs. …. It is a way of working to ensure that political decisions are prepared in an open, tranpsranet manner, informed by the best available evidence and backed by the comprehensive involvement of stakeholders’. Why anyone could be against this is beyond me, but there are many who are.

 

When to follow and not

Officials have to follow the steps laid out in the Guidelines.  The Toolbox provides additional guidance.  The Toolbox is only binding if “expressly stated”.

There are times when the Guidelines may be by-passed. These include:

  •  social partner agreements (see Art.155 Treaty),
  • a political imperative to move ahead quickly,
  • an emergeny,
  • specific deadlines in legislation, or
  • a need to respect security related or confidential information

If officials want to apply an exception they need to ask for this at:

  1. When the initiative is getting political validation
  2. Permission frm the Secretary-General and First Vice-President

 

The Guidelines are meant to be read by all ‘officials involved in regulatory activities.’ It would be interesting to know how many have.

The greatest weakness to Better Regulation is political will and time at the very highest levels of the Commission to follow and implement it. A First Vice-President who is clearly so busy and active must have little time to pick political fights with his fellow Commissioners and high ranking officials who would rather pre-determine the policy outcome from the very start than go through an exercise that may deliver results they do not like.

 

Key Checklists and Charts

Below I have gone through the new Guidelines and Toolbox and pulled out the 10 most useful charts and checklists.

 

  1. When is Political Validation Required?

See: Box 2. Scoping, political validation and interservice work

• Political validation is required to move beyond the informal consideration of a

possible initiative and to start the substantive prepatory work including engagement

with stakeholders.

• The level of political validation depends on the nature and importance of the inititiave.

“Major initiatives” should, in principle, be entered into Decide at least 12 months

prior to adoption by the College. They must be validated by the lead Commissioner,

relevant Vice-President and the First Vice-President before being accepted to be

included into the Commissions’ planning. “Other initiatives” should be validated by

the lead Commissioner or by the Director-General of the lead DG as appropriate.

• Political validation must be understood as giving the green light to start the

substantive preparatory work. It should not be interpreted as a decision on a particular

initiative or course of action that prejudges the outcome of any impact assessment

process, stakeholder consultation or later political discussion in the College.

• For major initiatives and for evaluations (including fitness checks), once political

validation is granted, roadmaps or inception impact assessments must be finalised

and published as quickly as possible. They explain to external stakeholders what the

Commission is considering and allow them to provide early feedback.

• Roadmaps are used for initiatives which do not require an impact assessment. The

reasons justifying the absence of an impact assessment will be included.

• Inception impact assessments are used for initiatives subject to an impact

assessment. These set out in greater detail the description of the problem, issues

related to subsidiarity, the policy objectives and options as well as the likely impacts

of each option.

• A roadmap is prepared for each evaluation or fitness check. This specifies the

context, scope and purpose of the evaluation and outlines the proposed approach.

• All roadmaps (including for evaluations and fitness checks) and inception impact

assessments are published by the Secretariat-General on the Commission’s website12

so that citizens and stakeholders are informed and can provide initial feedback

(including data and information they may possess) on all aspects of the intended

initiative and where applicable its impact assessment.

• Evaluations, impact assessments, stakeholder consultations, policy proposals and

implementation plans must be discussed collectively by the services13 within an

interservice group. It is important that all services with an interest participate

actively in the interservice work from the outset, particularly those DGs with specific

expertise (e.g. competitiveness and innovation, SME impacts, economic, social

impacts, environmental impacts and scientific/analytical methods).

• The launch of the interservice consultation must be agreed politically (in a similar way

to the validation of new initiatives). In addition, where an initiative is supported by an

impact assessment, a positive opinion of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board is required in

order for the initiative to be presented to the Commission for decision.

2. Who validates for what & the  implications 

 

3. The Planning and Validation Process – A schedule 

 

4.  The Key Questions an Evaluation Must Answer

 

1. What is the current situation?

2. How effective has the EU intervention been?

3. How efficient has the EU intervention been?

4. How relevant is the EU intervention?

5. How coherent is the EU intervention internally and with other (EU) actions?

 

5. Key Timelines for Public Consultation

 

6. What documents go to the Regulatory Scrutiny Board?

 

6.1 Impact Assessment

What?

Note signed by the Director General of the lead DG addressed to the chair of the RSB.

 Draft IA report (SWD).

 IA summary sheet accompanying the IA report (SWD).

 Minutes of the meeting of interservice group that has been preparing the IA report immediately prior to submission of the IA report to the RSB.

 Links to where important underlying reports or studies can be found which underpin the IA report.

 Underlying evaluation SWD, if this evaluation has not been scrutinised separately by the RSB.

 

When

 The lead DG should reserve a slot at a future meeting of the RSB at which the IA report will be discussed. In general, the slot should be reserved at least 3 months before the RSB meeting.

 This slot should reflect the envisaged timing of the political initiative, the time needed to adapt the IA report in light of the Board’s opinion(s) and the time needed to complete a formal interservice consultation and formal adoption by the College.

 The draft IA report should be submitted to the RSB at least 4 weeks before the RSB meeting where the draft IA report will be discussed.

 In a few exceptional cases, the RSB may decide that the draft impact assessment report does not need to be discussed at a formal meeting of the Board but can be dealt with via written procedure. This can only be decided on a case-by-case basis once the draft IA report has been submitted to the RSB and will depend on the quality and lack of complexity of the case at hand.

 

Re-Submissions

 Where the RSB issues a negative opinion, the lead DG will have to incorporate the Board’s recommendations into a revised IA report, to discuss those changes with the ISG and to submit a revised report to the RSB.

 The RSB will aim to issue a revised opinion within 4 weeks following resubmission. In most cases, the opinion will be issued following a written procedure. However, the RSB may wish to hear the lead DG again in a meeting. In such cases, the RSB secretariat will organise an appropriate slot in consultation with the lead DG.

 

7.  Fitness Checks and Evaulations Secletced for Scrutiny by the RSB

What?

Note signed by the Director General of the lead DG addressed to the Chair of the RSB.

 Draft evaluation SWD/fitness check report (SWD).

 Executive summary of the evaluation SWD or fitness check report.

 Minutes of the meeting of interservice group that has been preparing the evaluation report immediately prior to submission of the draft evaluation report to the RSB.

 Quality assessment discussed and agreed by the ISG.

 Any report prepared by consultants (where relevant).

 

When?

The lead DG should reserve a slot at a future meeting of the RSB at which the evaluation/fitness check report will be discussed. In general, the slot should be reserved at least 3 months before the RSB meeting.

 In line with the “evaluate first” principle, the fitness check report or evaluation SWD should usually be reviewed by the RSB ahead of the submission of the corresponding impact assessment.

 The draft evaluation/fitness check report should be submitted to the RSB at least 4 weeks before the RSB meeting that will discuss the draft evaluation SWD or fitness check report.

 In a few exceptional cases, the RSB may decide that the draft evaluation report does not need to be discussed at a formal meeting of the Board but can be dealt with via written procedure. This can only be decided on a case-by-case basis once the draft evaluation SWD or fitness check report has been submitted to the RSB and will depend on the quality and lack of complexity of the case at hand.

 

Follow up

The lead DG is expected to incorporate the Board’s recommendations into a revised fitness check report or evaluation SWD and to discuss the changes with the relevant ISG.

 A negative opinion does not prevent the launch of an interservice consultation on the fitness check report or evaluation SWD. However, the lead DG may wish to submit a revised SWD or report to the RSB. In such cases, the Board will aim to issue an opinion within 4 weeks usually by written procedure. In some cases, the lead DG may be invited to a meeting with the RSB which will be

 

8. Initiatives for which the need for an IA should be assessed

  1. New legal acts
Revision of existing legal acts
Recasts of existing legal acts
Non-technical repeal of existing legal acts77
Delegated acts (Art. 290 TFEU)
Implementation measures (Art. 291 TFEU)
Transposition of international agreement into EU law78
White papers
Policy communications
Action Plans
Recommendations
Recommendations for the negotiation of international agreements.
Social partner agreements pursuant to Articles 154-155 TFEU79.
Financial programmes (i.e. all basic acts for spending programmes and financial instruments)

 

9. Initiatives for which no automatic need for an Impact Assessment

 

 

9.2. Do you need an Impact Assessment when an EU Agency is Involved?

 

10.  Key Steps ad Requirements for an Impact Assessment

 

 

10.2. Process Chart for the the typical Impact Assessment