In this article we address the question whether the better regulation agenda has produced a community of policy-makers with their own identity, sense of purpose, and specific governance beliefs. We survey policy-makers from two of the most high profile better regulation committees in the European Union (EU) – The High Level Group of National Regulatory Experts (HLG) and the Directors of Better Regulation (DBR). While committee governance has affirmed itself as the subject of much research, this project takes a different approach to the existing literature. Specifically, we set out to establish whether there is (a) a common identity, (b) convergence of regulatory beliefs (that is, core policy beliefs) and (c) governance beliefs (about representation, scope of European governance, and EU institutions). Using data from other policy-communities, we also try to establish whether the better regulation community differs from other specialised communities of policy-makers active in EU committees. Our evidence points towards convergence of beliefs on several dimensions such as attitudes on European integration. There is also evidence of a shared European identity and common role perceptions, possibly nested on or developed alongside a national identity. Governance beliefs are converging, but agreement on the main principles of better regulation is limited. There is limited convergence on the role of the European Commission in EU regulation, so we can expect the current lively discussion on what the Commission should do to ‘get regulation right’ to carry on in the foreseeable future.
|Published (in print/issue) - 2008
- better regulation
- red tape
- European public policy