M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Elizabeth Golberg

Session one: with guest speaker Catherine Day October 2, 4:00-5:30, M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503 (see below for details)

Session two: EU Better Regulation? The Case of Telecom Roaming Charges, with guest speaker, Fabio Colasanti
February 20, 2018, 4:00-5:30, M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503 (see below for details)

Introduction: The European Union and its Member States are often criticized for producing excessive and badly written regulation and for meddling in the lives of citizens or businesses with too many rules. The response to this criticism and the broader quest for high quality regulation has resulted in ‘regulatory policy’ becoming a standard feature of public policy. Most jurisdictions have a ‘Better regulation’ agenda and have set up administrative means to deliver on it. The aim is to prepare regulation in full knowledge of its expected effects, maximize positive impact and avoid unnecessary burdens and red-tape on citizens, businesses and public authorities. The assessment of regulation from the design phase to implementation has become more systematic. Most regulatory systems allow for some sort of public consultation or feedback in this process. Some systems aim to control the volume of regulation either by offsetting schemes, systems of systematic repeal or other means. The European Commission is no exception, having prioritized ‘Better Regulation’ policy and tools over the past twenty years. Impact assessment and evaluation, both supported by public consultation have become mandatory. Various approaches to streamline and improve the stock of legislation, including targets, have been tried.

Despite progress in putting regulatory policy systems in place, there is continued public and business dissatisfaction with levels and quality of regulation. The political response has been to continue to champion target setting, regulatory restraint and offsetting (inter alia through approaches such as ‘one in one out) that give the impression of providing relief from over regulation and red tape. At European level, this is reflected in a legal commitment in the recently concluded Inter-Institutional Agreement on Better Law Making and continued political pressure on the European Commission from Member States and the business community to set objectives/targets and to apply quantitative offsetting schemes.

Little attention is paid to whether and how well regulatory policy schemes have worked in the past and whether they are applicable in all governance settings. Much of the literature describes the various schemes, their scope and objectives but rarely assesses whether they have met these objectives, for example, in improved policy outcomes or reduced burden. Some academics have tried but have concluded that the effects of regulatory policy measures (for example, impact assessment) on outcomes are very hard to measure.

While recognizing these difficulties, the ‘Boon or Boondoggle’ project attempts to narrow the analytical gap. It will examine the development of regulatory policy at European level and assess its effectiveness, relevance, proportionality and coherence.

The work will be conducted from the perspective of senior European Commission civil servants who have worked to design and apply the system. Different aspects of the EU regulatory system and its impacts will be covered in a series of study groups.

Session one: October 2, 2017, 4:00-5:30, M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503
Catherine Day, former Secretary General of the European Commission will kick off the discussion by providing her insights into the development of the European Commission regulatory policy system – the combination of forces and events that shaped the design of the system; the use of impact assessment and evaluation in the decision making of the European Commission and the challenges of deploying better regulation instruments in a multi-layer system of governance.

Catherine was the top civil servant in the European Commission from 2005-2015. She came to the position after serving as Director General of the Environment Directorate, Deputy Director General of the External Relations Department and Director of Enlargement. She held a series of high level posts in the Cabinets of Sir Leon Brittan, Peter Sutherland and Richard Burke. Following this distinguished civil service career, she now chairs the Governing Board of University College Cork and is a Member of the Board of the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin), the European Movement (Dublin), the Institute of European and International Affairs (Dublin), and the Strategic Council of the European Policy Centre (Brussels).

Session two: February 20, 2018, 4:00-5:30, M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503
EU Better Regulation? The case of telecom roaming charges

This study group will examine the application of regulatory policy in the telecommunications and information technology field. Fabio Colasanti, the former Director General of the Information Society Directorate General of the European Commission, will discuss EU telecommunications policy and the role of impact assessment/evaluation in its development. Fabio was Director General of the Enterprise Directorate General of the European Commission and held key posts in the Economics Directorate General. He served as Commission President Prodi’s Deputy Head of Cabinet. He is currently active on the Board of RAI Way and recently stepped down as Chair of the International Institute of Communications.

Elizabeth Golberg recently retired from her post as Director of Smart Regulation, responsible for regulatory policy development and its coordination and application in the European Commission. Since 2005, she has been closely involved in setting up the European Commission’s ‘Better Regulation’ system, overseeing and coordinating the preparation and quality control of impact assessments, evaluations and stakeholder consultations. The application of EU law was an important component of her regulatory policy work and she developed and oversaw the introduction of important changes European Commission approach to enforcement. Elizabeth participated actively in international regulatory cooperation initiatives, as a member of the Bureau of the OECD Regulatory Policy Committee as well as in bilateral discussions, including those conducted in the context of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations. Her interest in broad issues of regulatory policy followed her practical experience in environmental policy development as Assistant to the Director General and Head of Unit for Strategic Planning and Evaluation of the European Commission’s Environment Directorate General from 2002-2005. In addition to regulatory policy, Elizabeth has long experience in external relations and assistance programme coordination and management. She was Head of Unit for external institutional relations and G7/G20 in the European Commission’s Secretariat General, developing working relations with and acting as the main coordination point for the European External Action Service. She held various advisory posts in the external relations field in the European Commission from 1993 to 2002, focusing on the accession process of the Eastern European Member States and policy development and assistance programming in the EU’s near neighbourhood. Elizabeth was actively engaged in the pre-accession preparations of Slovakia and was coordinator for the European Union’s technical assistance programme (the Phare Programme) in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Elizabeth started her career in the Canadian Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1980, serving in posts in Bonn and Brussels. Ms. Golberg has a Bachelor of Arts and Science from the University of Lethbridge, Canada and a Graduate Diploma in International Economics from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, University of Geneva, Switzerland. She has participated in executive courses at Oxford Said Business School and at the Salzburg Seminar. As a Senior Fellow, her research is entitled Better Regulation in the European Union — Boon or Boondoggle? Her faculty sponsor is Joseph Aldy, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Email: elizabeth_golberg@hks.harvard.edu