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According to Article 295 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission may conclude interinstitutional agreements (“IIA”) setting out arrangements for their cooperation. A number of such agreements are in place, including the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making adopted by the parties on 9 March 2016, which replaced the 2003 IIA with the same name.

The new IIA on Better Law-Making aims to improve the way the EU legislates and to ensure that EU legislation better serves citizens and businesses. One of its goals – also known as ‘better regulation’ or ‘smart regulation’ – is to ensure that EU policies and laws achieve their objectives at minimum cost and administrative burden. It is also intended that political decisions are prepared in an open, transparent manner, informed by the best available evidences and backed by the comprehensive involvement of stakeholders. Better regulation covers the whole policy cycle, i.e. the policy planning and preparation, adoption, implementation, application, evaluation and revision. For each phase there will be specific principles, objectives, tools and procedures to make sure that the EU has the best regulation possible.

In May 2016 the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs created a joint Working Group for the purpose of preparing an own-initiative report on the interpretation and implementation of the new IIA on Better Law-Making. Since its establishment, the Working Group has held three meetings during the summer in which they had the opportunity to discuss the possible arrangements to implement the IIA’s provisions. Following the third meeting, the Committee on Legal Affairs will report back to the Committee on the results.