2015 Annual report of the German National Regulatory Control Council


The German Nationaler Normenkontrollrat (NKR) has published its 2015 Annual Report.

The report, structured in eight chapters, provides a complete overview of the activity of the Council shedding light on the major progress of better regulation and administrative burdens reduction in Germany. With its review of the regulatory initiatives, the NKR promotes greater transparency of the financial consequences for the individual ministries and the Federal Government. The report illustrates several regulatory initiatives that show examples of what transparency of regulatory burdens can accomplish. Moreover, it puts forward suggestions for further developments.

The main field of activity of NKR deals with the reduction of compliance costs, which decreased significantly in 2015. Chapter one describes how 333 regulatory initiatives have been reviewed by the Council in order to estimate the related compliance costs. The report illustrates important measures such as the Bureaucracy Relief Act, the so called “eHealth law”, and the electronic procedures for public procurements. Specific NKR projects for simplification and costs reduction are also described. For instance, the Council observed that there are 500 information obligations in the regulation area of the Federal Ministry of Health that could be reduced through simplification and IT application.

The report illustrates measures taken by Federal Government, including the “One in one out” rule, specific measures for SME, and the introduction of ex post evaluation. It also underlines that more than half of the legal compliance costs in Germany are caused by the legislation of the European Union. Therefore, it recommends to take further actions in order to obtain at the EU level a greater cost transparency (see Chapter Eight).

Finally, the NKR stresses the importance of promoting digitisation and eGovernment, not only to improve administrative procedures and legal proceedings, but also to support citizens. To this regards, the Council urges the Government to take further action, suggesting that all new regulations should be checked for their eGovernment suitability (see Chapter Seven, where issues concerning eJustice are also illustrated).

(Eleonora Cavalieri)