Legislative policy, law and competitiveness: a mysterious and difficult relationship in the EU

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Lynch Fannon, Irene
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Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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The Lisbon Agenda places Europe in a uniquely difficult position globally, most particularly as an example of a social and regulatory experiment which many consider to be doomed to failure. The drive towards economic competitiveness has led to a focus on regulation and its effect on entrepreneurship, productivity and business growth but assessing this relationship is complex for a number of reasons. First, not all regulatory effects can be predicted precisely in relation to behavioural outcomes. Path-dependency scholars have also demonstrated that the regulation will have varying effects depending on context. Second, theoretically it is clear that many non-regulatory factors may contribute to economic and competitive success. Third, there is evidence of internal conflict within the Commission as to the relative importance of the Lisbon goals. Finally, the experience of distinct Member States presents challenges both for assessment and prescriptive remedies. The Commission has estimated that the cost of regulatory compliance obligations on businesses in the EU is between 4% and 6% of gross domestic product and that 15% of this figure is avoidable 'red tape' (the term used specifically to signify unnecessary compliance burdens). This article proposes to assess the likely outcomes of de-regulation as we rapidly approach 2010, the year for attainment of the Lisbon goals.
Regulation , Regulatory compliance , European competitiveness
Lynch Fannon, I. (2009) 'Legislative Policy, Law and Competitiveness: A Mysterious and Difficult Relationship in the EU'. European Law Journal, 15 (1):98-120. doi: 0.1111/j.1468-0386.2008.00452.x
© 2009 The Author. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com