Between Theoretical Principles and Practice in Slovene Regulatory Impact Assessment Procedures

In: Review of Central and East European Law
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  • 1 University of Ljubljana

Regulatory Impact Assessment (ria) is a system of approaches applied worldwide, which is designed to implement Better and Smart Regulation programs at both the European and national levels, as well as to support reforms aimed at promoting good governance. Its purpose is to enable public consultation in the regulatory cycle and to simplify legislation. To this end, public authorities strive for the implementation of several key principles related to the regulatory process, such as transparency, participation, proportionality, accountability, etc. This article examines the above principles over various stages of the regulatory process, analyzing regulatory stakeholders, the relations between them, and the introduction of ria in administrative procedures. In addition to certain general principles, selected legal sources are considered, particularly with regard to Slovenia, which is used as a case study of compliance with international guidelines by an eu and oecd member. In 2009, the Slovene Parliament adopted the Resolution on Legislative Regulation, followed by adoption of the Government’s Rules of Procedure in pursuing ria in 2010. In order to identify a possible gap between declaratory principles and reality, a study on ria in the Government’s practice was conducted in 2011 and 2016. The results reveal that there is indeed a gap between the goals and principles as set out in the ria meta-regulation and theory and what occurs in reality, which is, furthermore, a condition that does not seem to be improving over time. This article explains the reasons behind such deficiencies and suggests the actions to be taken to bridge the gap and to develop effective public governance in the future. In particular, the deregulation of ria and a further systematic awareness of the role and benefits of ex-ante and ex-post assessment at the political level – and involving all sections of public administration – will need to be strongly enforced in this respect, both in Slovenia and in other countries that face similar circumstances.