AUTHORS: Matt Rayment – Rupert Haines – Martin Nesbit – Andrea Illes – Yann Verstraeten
In 2015, the European Commission launched a Fitness Check of monitoring and reporting obligations arising from EU environmental legislation. European environmental law often requires Member States to report to the Commission – sometimes to demonstrate that they have implemented the law properly, sometimes to enable the Commission to take an overview of approaches to implementation, and for a range of other reasons. But are the obligations all necessary, are they properly focused on the objectives of the legislation, and could they be managed more coherently?
IEEP, together with ICF, delivered a study which provided evidence to underpin this Fitness Check. As part of the study IEEP developed an inventory of 181 EU reporting obligations across 58 items of legislation, and ICF led a detailed assessment of their costs and benefits. The study gathered evidence and views from Member States and stakeholders about the current regulatory monitoring and reporting system, through a stakeholder consultation and series of workshops.
In line with the EU’s Better Regulation Agenda, the analysis was structured under the five evaluation themes of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value. Furthermore, 19 more detailed evaluation questions under these themes were addressed as specified in the Fitness Check Roadmap.
The study delivered conclusions about the overall performance of the current system, the effect of recent trends and current initiatives, options for improving the current arrangements, and information gaps and research needs which could be addressed to inform future action. Building on the findings of the study the Commission finalized its Fitness Check evaluation in June 2017 and published an Action plan to streamline environmental reporting.