Thursday, 4 August 2011


Veteran readers may recall that I have a professional interest in the Better Regulation Agenda - the international policy drive to reduce regulation for businesses and citizens and make regulation better value for money. Readers can check all my writings on the matter here.

Twitter followers might also recall that I was particularly miffed to find that the Memorandum revised our commitment to reduce administrative burdens by lowering the target savings from 25% to 20% - a bizarre change of heart.

If you're a fellow believer in Better Regulation then it may please you to hear that the Greek Government is consulting on the matter as we speak. We're only about 6 years late - the Better Regulation policy boom actually began in 2005 (see here and here). But better late than never.

I know it's very hard to be optimistic about this new measure. As one commentator points out below, the rule of law is a prerequisite to Better Regulation and we're still struggling with that. And the picture of a vast policy circle-jerk painted by another commentator is an accurate portrayal of the state of the art in many parts of the world, including the European Commission.

But this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the ball rolling on properly limiting the reach of government. So much of what's wrong with Greece has to do with being able to reach for the false comfort of regulation, as though the lawmakers can will a better world into existence. I enjoy being a cynic but I like fighting back even better.

The consultation is open until 2 September and can be accessed here. Although I note that the Government has already made a Better Regulation boo-boo in only allowing 29 days for consultation responses. The European standard is three times that - 12 weeks.

For the record, here is my thinking on the Better Regulation agenda - the report itself focuses on the UK but the theoretical principles are the same. I will upload an updated version as soon as the book it is now part of is published. That's taking a while.

I will update this post regularly as I respond to the consultation. Unfortunately this is all going to be in Greek. Check below for sections I have responded to.

[The consultation wonks are taking their time approving the last two responses; hopefully that means they're reading them.]


    1. Final link does not work.

    2. Ignore previous comment.Site's down.

    3. Better regulation arrives in Greece! What a load of nonsense - ranging from the superfluous [use better language! incorporate European directives on time, so as not to pay fines!] to the obvious [codify laws so they are searchable and readable!]. And all this, decreed by law: no reason to panick, however, there are no penalties, no clear obligations and they can be changed by (yet another) law. I guess we have to show all this to the creditors.

      In the meantime, let us content ourselves with the legalization of "afthaireta" [illegal buildings] - including the one built by a member of FinMin's family...

    4. All this is laudable, but "better regulation" comes after "rule-of-law". Unfortunately, the latter, caught between the low-level corruption of the middle class and the authoritarianism of the ruling elite has collapsed in Greece.

    5. I wonder whether the Greek "better regulation agenda" meets the requirements of better regulation. Lots of big words, lots of committees without any independence(to be filled by party acolytes, without any doubt), without clear role, mandate or procedure, duplicating the work done elsewhere, and lots of self-congratulatory reports (to be presented with aplomb, in front of clueless journalists, and even more acolytes)...


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