Commission ignores its own evidence against deregulatory policy

The European Commission is pressing ahead with a ‘one in, one out’ rule for EU regulations despite rejecting such an approach last year and publishing evidence that it is inappropriate for EU law.  

The rule, which will oblige the Commission to “relieve people and businesses of an equivalent existing burden” every time new EU legislation is proposed, is part of a new ‘Better Regulation’ policy to be published today.

The clearly deregulatory move has no basis in EU law, was not in the programme on which Ursula von der Leyen was elected Commission President and follows the adoption of a similarly deregulation policy by US in particular since 2017.

Not only does the Commission have no mandate for the policy, but it is in complete contradiction with its own evaluations which say: “Regulatory costs should be reduced on the basis of evidence, not simple numerical targets.”

Commission documents have warned that a ‘one in, one out’ or deregulation targets would:  

  • “Create deregulatory pressures”
  • Risks “adversely affecting underlying policy objectives” because it would “impair its political responsibility to deliver what needs to be done when it needs to be done”
  •  “Not…produce better results in terms of tackling unnecessary costs and providing tangible benefits” and “present formidable methodological challenges at the European level”

They echo the concerns of European trade unions who call on the Commission to approach legislation not as a “burden” but a prerequisite for investment in a more sustainable and social Europe.

The ETUC recently published an alternative vision of a Better Regulation policy that works in the common interest.

ETUC Confederal Secretary Isabelle Schömann:

“The Commission’s plans for a ‘one in, one out’ rule represent a complete u-turn on its own warnings only last year. Prioritising reduction targets over quality regulation risks impeding much needed laws to tackle climate change and the Covid crisis.

“The aim of EU legislation should be to better protect workers’ health and safety, and make sure that no worker suffers from dangerous working conditions or working environment. Better Regulation should deliver for better protection of all the people of Europe, in particular on the eve of International Workers Memorial Day and World Day for Safety and Health when we remember that people life at work should matter, and to reaffirm the need to protect and promote workers and citizen’s fundamental rights by stronger legislation.“

“To build a people’s recovery from the Covid crisis, the Commission’s focus should not be on short-term cost cutting but on how to legislate for a safer, fairer and greener society in the long term.”


ETUC resolution on ‘Better Regulation for All’:

ETUI report on the ‘one in, one out’ rule:

Commission documents cited: