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Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation

Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation

The Shifting Roles of the EU, the US and California

Edited by David Vogel and Johan Swinnen

This well-documented book analyzes the possibilities and constraints of regulatory cooperation between the EU and the US (particularly California) with a specific focus on environmental protection, food safety and agriculture, biosafety and biodiversity.

Chapter 11: EU–US Horizontal Regulatory Cooperation: Mutual Recognition of Impact Assessment?

Anne C.M. Meuwese

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, law - academic, regulation and governance, politics and public policy, international relations, political economy


Anne C.M. Meuwese INTRODUCTION Regulators – in the sense of ‘those involved in the setting, monitoring and enforcement of regulatory standards’ – are increasingly crossing borders; so much so that they have been called ‘the new diplomats’.1 They meet with their foreign peers to solve issues that used to fall within the exclusive domain of domestic policy-making (Raustiala, 2002; Petersmann, 2000). Transnational dialogues about regulatory standards deal with a range of issues, such as food safety and financial market regulation (for instance, the Informal Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue).2 Zooming in on regulatory governance we find that increasing cooperation is not the only transformation it has undergone. A more strategic approach to regulation has resulted from the recognition that it has a major impact on economic and social well-being. Already more common outside the regulatory arena, performance-based regulatory management systems are being set up around the globe. We can also witness a tendency among regulators to think more reflexively about regulation and draft ‘horizontal’ policies (that is, those that are not sector-specific) to help them regulate ‘better’. At least for those dealing with the subject in Europe, this second transformation is often captured by the label ‘better regulation’, after the general regulatory policy that the European Commission put into place in 2002. Aside from a simplification programme and a plan to reduce administrative burdens by 25 per cent by 2012, the introduction of impact assessment3 as a systematic tool for EU policy-making was a major component of this horizontal policy. In the...

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