A Bunch of Tools: The Designs of Regulatory Procedural Instruments in the EU-28

29 May 2020
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Online seminar with: Claudio Radaelli, Claire Dunlop, Gaia Taffoni, and Jonathan Kamkhaji from Protego.

We contribute to the literature by analysing the design features of four regulatory procedural instruments that affect the policy formation process of new laws and regulations in the then 28 member states of the European Union: Freedom of information acts, consultation procedures, obligations to estimate the likely costs and benefits of proposed regulation/legislation (regulatory impact assessment) and the Ombudsman. The design of these instruments has so far have been studied almost exclusively in idiosyncratic fashion. Instead, we turn to a systematic approach to dissect their structure and relationships.

To achieve that, we draw on Elinor Ostrom’s Institutional Grammar Tool (IGT). This allows us to empirically measure the design of these procedures by using the same theoretical template for each procedure and country. The template revolves around position rules, boundary rules, choice rules, aggregation rules, information rules, payoff rules and scope rules. We gathered data by extracting these seven types of rules from the original legislation in 28 countries using a network of legal experts. We use the data-set to answer research questions on the distribution of rule types and countries and identify the components that best explain the variation in our population (via principal component analysis). In the conclusions we reflect on the potential of the IGT to measure cross-country differences and provide explanations. Research for this paper was carried out with the support of the ERC, project on Procedural Tools for Effective Governance.


29 May 2020


Prof. Zuzana Murdoch, University of Bergen