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Article

Fixed Book Price Regimes

Beyond the Rift between Social and Economic Regulation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2017
Keywords fixed book price policies (FBP), Brazil, Resale Price Maintenance (RPM), social regulation, antitrust law
Authors Carlos Ragazzo and João Marcelo da Costa e Silva Lima
AbstractAuthor's information

    Brazil is currently discussing the introduction of a nation-wide Fixed Book Price (“FBP”) policy, thus providing context for a discussion of its welfare benefits. There is a rift between the reasons for implementing FBP regimes, and those used to scrutinize them. In order for the debate surrounding the pros and cons of implementing FBP regimes to become more productive, one must investigate the links between the reasons for designing and enforcing such policies, on one side, and standard antitrust analysis, on the other. There are many interesting arguments at the table that both corroborate and compromise the case for an FPB policy. However, throughout history, these policies have experimented cognizable trends. The objective FBP regimes pursue and their design have changed subtly, yet relevantly throughout history. In our view, the current academic and public policy debate surrounding FBP regimes, in both countries considering adopting or revoking them, would benefit from an enhanced awareness of these trends and their policy implications. Ultimately, so would the antitrust analysis of these policies. We argue that a better grasp of these trends could potentially result in a more sober examination of the welfare risks associated with FBP policies.


Carlos Ragazzo
Carlos Ragazzo is Professor of Law at Fundação Getulio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro; he has a doctorate degree from Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and an LL.M from New York University School of Law.

João Marcelo da Costa e Silva Lima
João Marcelo da Costa e Silva Lima has an M.A. in Regulatory Law from Fundação Getulio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro.
Article

Why Better Regulation Demands Better Scrutiny of Results

The European Parliament’s Use of Performance Audits by the European Court of Auditors in ex post Impact Assessment

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords EU budget, European Parliamentary Research Service, policy evaluation, scrutiny, oversight
Authors Paul Stephenson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Ex post impact assessment (traditionally considered part of policy evaluation) received less attention in the preceding ‘Better Regulation’ package (2011) than ex ante impact assessment. Yet, the insights generated through ex post impact assessment provide crucial input for streamlining legislation. In recognition of its contribution, the current agenda (2015) extends the reach to policy evaluation, and from financial instruments to regulatory instruments. In light of existing experience with impact assessments in Commission Directorates-General (DGs), the European Union (EU) institutions have been increasingly aware of the need to develop staff expertise in ex post (policy) evaluation, which has in the past been largely outsourced to external parties. Making sense of collected input and incorporating it within impact assessment is time consuming. Indeed, taking up the findings for practical use is a challenge for political decision makers but essential for the purposes of accountability, scrutiny and institutional learning. The challenge is more so, given the wealth of information being generated by multiple parties and the increasing technical and financial complexity of certain policy areas. The role of the Commission as an advocate of ‘Better Regulation’ has been studied extensively. However, we know relatively little about the role of the European Parliament (EP) in ex post evaluation. This article contributes to the literature on ‘Better Regulation in the EU’ by shedding light on the EP activities in the realm of scrutiny and evaluation. In particular, it looks at the Parliament’s use of special reports produced by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) through its performance audit work and how it takes on board the findings and recommendations in its scrutiny of budgetary spending. Moreover, it examines the emerging role of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) in monitoring the outputs of the ECA and other bodies engaged in audit and evaluation, and thereby, the way in which the EPRS is helping increase the Parliament’s capacity for scrutiny and oversight.


Paul Stephenson
Maastricht University.
Article

Alternative Forms of Regulation: Are They Really ‘Better’ Regulation?

A Case Study of the European Standardization Process

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords Better Regulation, co-regulation, standardization, judicial review
Authors Mariolina Eliantonio
AbstractAuthor's information

    One of the commitments of the Better Regulation Package is to consider ‘both regulatory and well-designed non-regulatory means’. Such mechanisms include co-regulation, i.e. administrative processes which involve the participation of private parties, such as the social partners or the standardization bodies, as (co-)decision makers. While the involvement of private parties in European Union (EU) administrative governance has the clear advantage of delivering policies which are based on the expertise of the regulatees themselves, private-party rule-making raises significant concerns in terms of its legitimacy. This article aims to discuss the gaps of judicial protection which exist in co-regulation mechanisms, by taking the case study of the standardization process. After an introduction to the issue of co-regulation and the rationale for the involvement of private parties in EU administrative governance, the standardization process will be examined and the mechanisms of judicial supervision will be reviewed in order to establish the possible gaps of judicial protection.


Mariolina Eliantonio
Dr. M. Eliantonio is an associate professor of European Administrative Law at the Law Faculty of Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
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