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C 304/80 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

(98/C 304/118) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0338/98
by Graham Mather (PPE) to the Commission
(17 February 1998)

Subject: Business impact assessment

On 24 April 1997, the European Parliament passed a report on strengthening the business impact assessment
system (A4-0413/96). During the April II part-session (1997), Commissioner Papoutsis commented: ‘I agree
with the general idea of the report and with the European Parliament’s resolution ... I would like to assure you of
my determination to support a strengthening of the business impact assessment system.’ (PE 222.596).

In May 1997, OECD ministers endorsed the recommendations in the OECD Report on Regulatory Reform.
These included that governments integrate Regulatory Impace Assessment (RIA) into the development, review
and reform of regulations. It also identified ten elements of ‘best practice’ in this area: maximize political
commitment to RIA; allocate responsibilities for IRA programme elements carefully; train regulators; use a
consistent but flexible analytical method; develop and implement data collection strategies; target RIA efforts;
integrate RIA into the policy-making process, starting as early as possible; communicate the results; involve the
public extensively; apply RIA to existing and new regulation.

Has the Commission taken account of the OECD best practice recommendations in its own on-going review; and
what is the Commission’s assessment of its own performance in each of the ten areas identified?

(98/C 304/119) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0339/98
by Graham Mather (PPE) to the Commission
(17 February 1998)

Subject: Business impact assessment

On 24 April 1997, the European Parliament passed a report on strengthening the business impact assessment
system (A4-0413/96). During the April II part-session (1997), Commissioner Papoutsis commented: ‘I agree
with the general idea of the report and with the European Parliament’s resolution ... I would like to assure you of
my determination to support a strengthening of the business impact assessment system.’ (PE 222.596).

One problem that has frequently been cited in relation to implementing best practice of business impact
assessment in the Member States is that very little is written on this subject, and particularly about the
experiences of best practice countries, in many EU languages.

Has the Commission investigated the extent to which the language barrier is a hindrance to extending best
practice in this area; and does the Commission feel that action is necessary in this area?

Joint answer to Written Questions
E-0335/98, E-0336/98, E-0337/98, E-0338/98 and E-0339/98
given by Mr Papoutsis on behalf of the Commission
(21 April 1998)

The Commission is committed to improving and strengthening its business impact assessment system (BIAS) as
part of its consideration of legislative proposals. These internal Commission working procedures along with
comprehensive consultation with outside interests are part of the open and transparent Commission policy as
established by the guidelines on legislative policy announced by the Commission in January 1996.

While it does not envisage producing a report for consideration by the Council and the Parliament, the
Commission has recently published a report on the history and the development of the business impact
assessment system along with a comprehensive collection of business impact assessments completed over the
last few years. A copy of this report is being sent direct to the Honourable Member and to the Parliament’s
secretariat. The Commission considers that an appropriate amount of analysis needs to be undertaken concerning
the regulatory impact of legislative proposals. If there is likely to be a significant impact on business then this