Better law‐making and the interinstitutional (dis)agreements: Some comments

Author:María José Martínez Iglesias
Publication Date:01 Mar 2020
Better law-making and the interinstitutional
(dis)agreements: Some comments
María José Martínez Iglesias*
This work argues that there is no univocal interpretation of what regulatory policy is and pursues.
Taking the strategy of the European Commission as a starting point only, it addresses more specifically
the Union legislature's perspective, which, in a democratic decision-making process, cannot compromise
its autonomy. In the unique constitutional universe of the European Union, the Better Law-Making
agenda pursues an important additional objective: facilitating the very process of adopting legislation
by means of interinstitutional conflict prevention mechanisms and through a common approach to
interpretation and implementation of primary law. That is the main purpose of the Interinstitutional
Agreements on the quality of legislation, which place them in the position of a sort of soft
constitutional law.
When dealing with the concept of Better Law-Making, the very first difficulty is always one of definition. It seems
that we all know what we are talking about, but in reality, and depending on the perspective of the interlocutor, a
certain variety of phenomena is hidden behind this expression.
Let's start with the name. I am talking about Better Law-Making. It is probably not the most widespread
terminology; Better Regulationis an equivalent expression used more frequently. Both expressions are commonly
used interchangeably. However, while the first emphasises the process of crafting the rulesthe procedure that
leads to the approval of the rulethe second focuses on the result of that process: on the rule itself and its content.
Undoubtedly, producing good-quality, legitimate and respected legal rules is a universally shared objective.
However, the key element in a democratic society for judging the quality of legislation
is, first of all, the way in
which rules are elaborated and adopted. The quality of legislation is essentially a question of method. It is the how
that will first determine the quality of a democratic decision-making process, and therefore the legitimacy and
effectiveness of the rules produced thereby.
Director for Legislative Affairs in the Legal Service of the European Parliament. The views presented in this article are those of the author alone and do
not represent an official position of the Legal Service of the European Parliament.
The term legislationis used in this work in a general way as equivalent to regulation.
DOI: 10.1111/eulj.12364
108 © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Eur Law J. 2020;

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