Issue 01/2011

- Humanizing Cost-Benefit Analysis
- Regulating Catastrophic Risks by Standards
- ...


Humanizing Cost-Benefit Analysis
Professor Cass R. Sunstein
In the last twenty months, the Obama Administration has been taking an approach to regulation that is distinctive in three ways. First, we have approached regulatory problems not with dogma or guesswork, but with the best available evidence of how people really behave. Second, we have used cost-benefit analysis in a highly disciplined way, not to reduce difficult questions to problems of arithmetic, but as a pragmatic tool for cataloguing, assessing, reassessing, and publicizing the human consequences of regulation – and for obtaining public comment on our analysis.
Smart Regulation: The European Commission’s Updated Strategy
Helen McColm
On 8 October 2010, the European Commission issued a communication paper on Smart Regulation in the European Union. The paper reports on progress made, future priorities and strategy in the field of regulatory reform, for the information of interested outsiders. It is the latest in a series of such communications, issued on a regular basis since the first major, systematic action plan in 2002.
A Brief Comment on “Humanizing Cost-Benefit Analysis”
Michael A. Livermore
On Tuesday, January 18, 2011 President Obama issued a new executive order and two somewhat related memoranda which embody some of the principles discussed by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator Cass Sunstein in this Journal. Building on three decades worth of practice in the United States with regulatory review, the new order and memoranda maintain significant continuity with past experience, while emphasizing both “humanizing” and rationalizing elements in the practice of regulatory impact analysis.
On the Smartness of Smart Regulation – A Brief Comment on the Future Reform Agenda
Dr. Lorenzo Allio
We live at a time where Smart is better than Better, and Better was not Smart enough. This is not a dull pun. It actually reflects the status in which regulatory reform finds itself nowadays. To many observers, the switch from Better to Smart just reflects the attempt to instil renewed commitment and faith in an agenda, which in some (European) countries has maybe exhausted its thrust.
Regulating the Use of Bisphenol A in Baby and Children’s Products in the European Union: Current Developments and Scenarios for the Regulatory Future
Tessa Fox, Dr. Esther Versluis, Marjolein Van Asselt
Parents of newborns and small children have recently been confronted with labels indicating that their purchases of a baby bottle, teethers or sippy cups are now ‘Bisphenol A-free’ (BPA). A synthetic chemical used in the production process of polycarbonate (plastics), Bisphenol A is currently making headline news in the US and the EU. Its questioned safety in food plastics, baby bottles and children’s toys has turned plastics into a political issue as it is systematically framed as a risk in media coverage.
Regulating Catastrophic Risks by Standards
Dr. Marta Simoncini
This article analyses the role played by standards of protection in the regulation of catastrophic risks. It examines how to protect people against the occurrence of catastrophic events, considering that the related risk is highly uncertain and difficult to predict using rational methodologies. In this perspective, the article focuses on environmental risks and terrorist threats affecting common goods – namely environment and security – areas where any damage is susceptible to producing ruinous effects and huge casualties.
Supranational Governance and Networked Accountability Structures: Member State Oversight of EU Agencies*
Dr. iur., LL.M. Johannes Saurer
The most remarkable recent development in EU administrative law is the widespread establishment of European agencies. Beginning in the early 1990s, EU agencies emerged as significant actors in a number of areas, including trademark law, pharmaceutical licensing and aviation safety. EU agencies are best understood, however, not as autonomous regulators at the federal level, but as the most recent expression of European Governance through administrative networks.
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