The concept of Law qua information entails a basic idea about communication between citizens and their governments. In an era of overflowing information, law is no exception to this phenomenon. Laws should be operative, both adequately pursuing their goals and simple to understand and comply with. Multiple reasons justify why laws do not always accomplish their goals: excessive burdening is but one. This scenario becomes more significant when one takes into account the transposition of EU Directives into national legislations. EU Institutions claim that national governments often pass extra regulation, piling their own regulative purposes on top of EU goals, in excess of the requirements set forth in Brussels: this is labelled “gold-plating.” The purpose of this presentation is to assess the inefficiencies and wrongdoings entailed therein, particularly unnecessary administrative and financial costs and the elimination of a desirable level playing field between Member States.
In the framework of the EU legislation, the claim for “gold plating”, i.e., that claim that a Member State pass extra regulation, piling their own regulative purposes on top of EU goals, is not easy to assess. Both the political reasons and the actual impacts may not be simple to identify and even less simple to estimate.
When looking to a possible “gold plating” situation, questions must be raised regarding: national sovereignty, individual, national and supranational political objectives and behaviours; national regulatory practices, standards and objectives; neutrality and the impact on welfare and competitiveness of countries; regulatory transparency and the relation between regulator and regulated in a multilevel regulation framework.
Aware of this difficulties, our objective will be to discuss how to assess “gold plating?” and what might be the role of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) methodology in this analysis.
The principle of sincere cooperation can be broadly recognised as one of the basic building blocks of European integration because it allows the creation and maintenance of mutually loyal relations between the Member States and the EU. It guarantees the recognition of general duties of respect, assistance, articulation, and non-contradiction – of coherence of action – between all the public entities covered by the EU legal order, both at the national level of Member States and at the supra-national EU level. This paper will analyse the phenomenon of gold plating in the light of the principle of sincere cooperation. When Member State legislators, while transposing EU law into national law, pass extra norms, guidelines and procedures, in excess of the EU set goals, it is moving away from an effective implementation of EU law. In that way, gold plating can be seen as a breach of sincere cooperation duties allowing a reaction from the EU.
Gold-plating occurs when the national transposition of a directive/execution of an EU regulation goes beyond what is requested to comply with it.
Different options from EU members may lead to gold plating and therefore it may assume different forms. In fact, it does not have always a negative result. For example, it may have the effect of reducing red tape if an administrative procedures is streamlined further than requested.
However, in many cases gold plating is present when administrative burdens not required by EU law are set forth at national level in result of its transposition or execution.
On the other hand, legislative evaluation instruments are used by a relevant number of States and such tools are often aimed to assess the costs of new administrative burdens.
This presentation is aimed to identify techniques to prevent red tape arising from gold plating both at EU and national levels and to discuss how legislative impact assessments may be improved to detect it.