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Risk Management and Regulation: Two years into the Barroso Commission

Ragnor Lofsted
King's College London

Date: 21 November 2006
Time: 1-2.30pm
Venue: CARR Seminar Room, H615

This paper examines the European Commission's (EC) Better Regulation Agenda, from the time that President Barroso came to power - in November 2004 - to the 2006 summer recess. It particularly focuses on whether the Commission's regulatory thinking has moved away from the precautionary principle and towards Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), something I predicted in 2004 (Lofstedt 2004). The article summarises the papers and communications in the Better Regulation area put forward by the Commission since November 2004, and makes a number of observations about how the Better Regulation Agenda may develop in the future. In conclusion I argue that the Commission's Better Regulation Agenda has plateaued. Commissioner Verheugen will not be successful in pushing the Agenda further forward because of issues such as REACH and opposition from member states, notably France. It is based on a combination of desk research and interviews with policy-makers, regulators, academics and stakeholders who have been involved either in shaping or fighting the Better Regulation Agenda.

Ragnar E.Lofstedt is Professor of Risk Management and the Director of King's Centre of Risk Management, King's College London, UK where he teaches and conducts research on risk communication and management. Previously he was a Reader in Social Geography at the University of Surrey, UK. He is also an adjunct Professor at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, Harvard School of Public Health where he co-directs the Risk Communication Challenge Course for continuing education professionals with Mr. David Ropeik, he is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, and he is a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Public Sector Research, Gothenburg University, Sweden.