Simplifying and improving the EU regulatory environment is one of the Barroso Commission’s main instruments within the framework of the Lisbon Strategy. Dubbed "better regulation", the initiative could allow businesses to save billions of euros, according to the Commission. This issue uncovers the hidden side of this campaign that could undermine the European health and safety legislation.

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Editorial - The “better regulation” rhinoceros

The rhinoceros is reputed to be a single-minded and short-sighted animal. The current European Commission’s determination to make “better regulation” its historical contribution to the shaping of Europe smacks of the same obduracy and myopia. “Better regulation”? Who could be against that? It would be like complaining about sunny weather. But the... Find out more

Better Regulation: really better for health and safety at work in Europe?

In a chilling announcement, the Commission claims that its plan for better regulation should enable savings of 150 billion euros for 2012 through a 25% cut in the administrative burden on business. The figure may be questionable, but a close look at the specific proposals seems to leave little doubt that much of the handout to business will come at... Find out more

Community bureaucracy and “better regulation”… pot – kettle?

For some years now, the European Commission has been spawning bureaucratic bodies set up to “combat bureaucracy”, or more accurately, to rid public policies of what annoys employers. One of the most recent is a “High Level Group” set up in August 2007 supposedly to represent independent stakeholders. It consists largely of representatives of... Find out more

A short A-to-Z of BetReg

All bureaucracies tend to spawn their own buzzword vocabulary. Insiders use it as shorthand to communicate more readily, but coded language also sets them apart from “civilians”. The meteoric rise of a special branch of administration tasked with overseeing the running of the other branches could be no exception. Like the USA, the European Union... Find out more

OSHA: America’s deregulation test bed

The “better regulation” lobby typically claims that its only aim is to cut red tape. And who could argue with that? The United States is the most advanced test bed for it, but experience there belies the claim. Far from reducing the form-filling, the build-up of measures over the past quarter century has spawned a singular bureaucracy in the form... Find out more

Vinyl chloride: when OSHA stood up to industry

Vinyl chloride is a chemical widely used in plastics manufacture. It is a carcinogen, and the atrocious conditions of its use have caused countless suffering. The chemical industry has long held out against any highly regulatory preventive measures or reasonably protective exposure limits. In 1954, the industry’s acceptable exposure limit was 500... Find out more

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HESA Newsletter. Special report - Better regulation

Related content

The European Union versus the Better Regulation Agenda

This report critically examines progress on the European Union’s ‘Better Regulation Agenda’. Although originally intended to simplify the EU’s legislation and improve its quality, there are suspicions that the Agenda has been hijacked to be used as a tool to make companies more competitive. The author argues that this risks further fueling... Find out more

'Better regulation': a bureaucratic simplification with a political agenda

This Working Paper aims to shed light on the machinations behind recent developments regarding the Better Regulation agenda. How should we interpret the Commission’s insistence on relentlessly attacking its own legislation? Why does it constantly refer to the costs, yet never once mention the benefits? Eric van de Abeele, who has already written... Find out more

Better regulation: a critical assessment

"This report is on the European Commission's "better regulation" programme. The Commission is promising that scrapping or revising a number of directives will save businesses around 40 billion euros by reducing the "administrative formalities" they impose. In Better Regulation: a critical assessment, Laurent Vogel (ETUI) and Eric Van den Abeele... Find out more

Editorial - The “better regulation” rhinoceros

The rhinoceros is reputed to be a single-minded and short-sighted animal. The current European Commission’s determination to make “better regulation” its historical contribution to the shaping of Europe smacks of the same obduracy and myopia. “Better regulation”? Who could be against that? It would be like complaining about sunny weather. But the... Find out more

Better Regulation: really better for health and safety at work in Europe?

In a chilling announcement, the Commission claims that its plan for better regulation should enable savings of 150 billion euros for 2012 through a 25% cut in the administrative burden on business. The figure may be questionable, but a close look at the specific proposals seems to leave little doubt that much of the handout to business will come at... Find out more

The European union's better regulation agenda

Despite the meltdown caused by deregulation in the financial sector, the Barroso Commission continues to push Better Regulation as delivering light-touch, business-friendly lawmaking. This report explains the ins and outs of the Better Regulation agenda, and answers many of the questions raised by this programme that it is claimed will improve the... Find out more

Community bureaucracy and “better regulation”… pot – kettle?

For some years now, the European Commission has been spawning bureaucratic bodies set up to “combat bureaucracy”, or more accurately, to rid public policies of what annoys employers. One of the most recent is a “High Level Group” set up in August 2007 supposedly to represent independent stakeholders. It consists largely of representatives of... Find out more

Marc Sapir, Tony Musu

Hesa Special Report - Young workers: Health at risk!

The theme for this year's European Health and Safety Week was young workers. lt is a big issue. More than a million young workers are injured in work accidents in the European Union each year. Tens of thousands end up crippled for Iife. And they are widely exposed to other health risks that will leave them damaged lang after the exposure has ended... Find out more