‘Gold-Plating’ in the transposition of EU law: a definition

Member States have large discretion when transposing EU directives and implementing EU regulations. They sometimes use this discretion to going beyond what is required by that EU legislation. This phenomenon is often called ‘gold-plating’. Over time, the concept has gained wider importance and is used for a number of phenomena in implementation of EU legislation. This could prove problematic as if we use a very broad definition of gold-plating it will lead to difficulties in identifying what are the behaviors that should be avoided and if an extremely broad definition is used, so many measures fall within the concept ‘gold-plating’. Both the political reasons and the actual impacts may not be simple to identify and even less simple to estimate. However, it is difficult to specify what precisely should be avoided when there are different understandings of which measures the concept ‘gold-plating’ includes. In this paper, we propose to define ‘gold-plating’ theoretically.