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Project: The EU’s Commission Regulatory Scrutiny Board

This project explored the role of the European Commission’s Regulatory Scrutiny Board (RSB) and analysed to what extent it influences the EU legislative process. Specific focus was on environmental and labour market policies.

This project was concluded in June 2023.

Project information

Project name
The EU Commission’s Regulatory Scrutiny Board: Better regulation or biased influence on legislation?
Project manager
Brigitte Pircher
Chamber of Labour Vienna, Austria; LobbyControl, Germany
1 July 2022–1 May 2023
Political science (Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences)
• Pircher, B. (2023). The EU’s Commission Regulatory Scrutiny Board: better regulation or biased influence on legislation?. Vienna, AK Wien, Abteilung Europa und Internationales und Lobby Control. 52.
• Pircher, B. (2023). Der EU-Ausschuss für Regulierungskontrolle: Ein unscheinbares Gremium mit großem Einfluss auf die EU-Gesetzgebung. Infobrief EU & International. 2. 7-11.
• Pircher, B. (2023). Das Regulatory Scrutiny Board: Wie groß ist der Einfluss auf die EU Gesetzgebung?. A&W Blog, AK Österreich and ÖGB.

More about the project

The European Commission established the Regulatory Scrutiny Board (RSB) in 2015 as an independent oversight body, as part of its ‘better regulation’ agenda. Its primary tasks are to assess the quality of draft impact assessments, fitness checks, and major evaluations within the Commission.

While some studies have suggested that the RSB contributes to better regulation, recent events in EU decision-making have raised doubts about this view. Several societal actors have claimed that the RSB's negative opinions on reports accompanying critical proposed legislation are biased in favour of large industries. Yet, little is still known about the RSB's role in EU’s legislative process.

Therefore, this project explores the RSB’s role in the EU legislative process and explores to what extent its opinions may influence decision-makers in this process. The project has two aims.

Firstly, it examines the better regulation agenda and the development of the RSB as well as its internal activities. Secondly, it presents the main voices of critics of the RSB and analyses to what extent the RSB and its opinions can affect the EU legislative process based on selected examples.

By doing this, the project focuses on environmental and social policy legislation. The project enhances our understanding of how expert opinions in EU governance may influence legislative decision-making.

The project is part of the research in the Swedish Network for European Studies – Lnu research group.