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    The contribution assesses Germany’s better regulation system as quality assurance system. At first, the paper outlines the development of the system over the last years and describes its main characteristics. The introduction of the Nationaler Normenkontrollrat (National Regulatory Control Council) in 2006 can be seen as a cornerstone in this respect. The competency of the National Regulatory Control Council was extended in 2011 and a new concept of cost measurement of regulatory costs - compliance costs - was introduced. The new concept captures not only the costs arising from information obligations, but all compliance costs of a regulation. Secondly, the paper discusses the challenges to the better regulation system, in particular, those due to Germany’s federal structure providing in most legislative areas for a separation of actual law making at the federal level and execution of laws by the German Länder (and their municipalities).


Dirk Zeitz
Research Fellow at Deutsches Forschungsinstitut für öffentliche Verwaltung (FÖV).Contact details: Freiherr-vom-Stein-Str. 2, 67346 Speyer, Email: zeitz@foev-speyer.de, Phone: +49 (0)6232 654-301.

    This article examines the actual application of European administrative soft law in light of the Dutch principle of legality. European administrative soft law is not legally binding. However, European administrative soft law can generate judicial binding effects for the Member States on the basis of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice. Moreover, the research on the actual application of administratice soft law in the field of European subsidies shows that it can also have a 'de facto' binding effect for the Member Sates.

    The (legal and actual) binding effects of European administrative soft law are problematic in light of the principle of legality, according to which binding norms must be laid down in hard law. The article argues that with the application of administrative soft law, three functions of the principle of legality (the principle provides legal certainty and legitimacy and serves as a safeguard against public authorities) are not sufficiently met. Several possible solutions that may resolve this tension are proposed.


Claartje van Dam
Claartje van Dam is masterstudent Staats- en Bestuursrecht aan de Universiteit Leiden.
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