The Legal Interoperability Team is happy to share that digital-ready policy-making and the necessity of digital checks has been added to the Better Regulation Agenda of the European Commission.
Attempting to support recovery and resilience of the EU and its ‘twin transition’, the Commission commits to improving the process of policy-making by incorporating objectives for the Union’s digital transition in the legislation lifecycle (Better Regulation – Joining forces to make better laws). The Commission promotes the digital-by-default principle, identifying opportunities for digitalization and their impact at the step of policy drafting. In line with the ‘one in, one out’ approach, the Commission seeks to reduce burdens imposed by the legislation by simplifying legislation and making it easy to comply with via use of digital solutions. The process implies active involvement of stakeholders affected by the legislation, who bring in their experience on the legislation matter, including the digital aspects. While requiring inclusion of digital readiness in the policy-making cycle, the Commission is committed to providing policy makers with all the needed tools. To ensure compliance of the policies lifecycle with the new objectives, the Commission introduced the topic to its Better regulation guidelines and added a specific tool in the better regulation toolbox helping the officials to provide operational and detailed guidance on policy aspects.
Better Regulation Guidelines, published in November 2021, provide policy makers with the internal instructions for the Commission staff to improve the process of policy-making via articulating various regulatory instruments. Notably, the guidelines repeatedly mention the importance of digital-readiness and digital checks along the policy-making cycle. The guidelines mention the necessity for compliance with digital-by-default principle, in line with advancing digital transition of the Union through digital-ready policy-making. In particular, the Guidelines explicitly mention digital aspects (including interoperability) as one of the requirements while assessing stakeholders’ policies.
To support the Guidelines with practical tools, the Commission prepared Better Regulation Toolbox, supporting the policy-makers with the necessary instruments to adjust the policies. Containing guidance best practices, the Toolbox presents Tool #28 assists policy-makers with use of digital technology and data in their policies, in order to achieve digital-ready and interoperable policies by default. The tool is structured around 6 core elements, namely: user-centric processes ready for automation, alignment with digital policies, once-only principle, evolving ICT landscape, innovation, digital-ready drafting. We invite you to read more on these elements on our BLSI community page.
Inclusion of digital-readiness and digital checks in the guidelines for policy-makers is a significant step toward innovating policy-making cycle and help the Union to have better, transparent, coherent and inclusive policies. The BLSI team will continue working on spreading the awareness of the necessity of digital checks and we invite you to join our endeavours.