The Role of Transparency in Regulatory Governance

Comparing US and EU Regulatory Systems
August 12, 2015

Susan E. Dudley
Kai Wegrich

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The United States and European Union have focused on improving the practices used to develop and implement legal requirements as a way to improve the quality of regulations themselves. Transparency in the regulatory process, from determining regulatory goals, to evaluating alternative means to achieve those goals, to enforcing regulatory requirements, features high on the agenda of cross-cutting government reform programs that address the issue of ‘regulatory quality.’ This article examines the transparency of procedures in the US and the EU related to impact analysis and public comment. It examines the importance of transparency for ensuring the effectiveness of these two regulatory practices, summarizes regulatory procedures in the US and the EU, compares the different approaches, and highlights the relative merits of each.