Background: The Regulatory Governance Initiative
The Regulatory Governance Initiative (RGI) is part of the Investment Compact under the Stability Pact, which is a framework agreement on international co-operation among 40 countries, organisations and regional groupings to develop a shared strategy for ensuring stability and growth in the countries of South East Europe (SEE). The Investment Compact affirms that the economic revitalisation of SEE depends primarily on private sector investment within a market economy framework.
Countries in SEE have increasingly recognised that high-quality public sector performance (at the national, regional and local level) is a precondition to effectively respond to a range of fundamental trends: EU harmonisation, increased competition for FDI, decreased aid transfers, increased global trade, domestic private sector development, SME promotion, regional and environmental policies, enhancement of social and labour market policies, etc.
The Review of Regulatory Governance in South East Europe finds that economic reforms have often leapt ahead of institution and capacity building in the region. The RGI Work Programme is focused on assisting SEE countries in improving the institutional environment for investment, competitiveness and an efficient public sector. To know more about the RGI, please download our brochure.
2003-04 Work Programme of the Regulatory Governance Initiative
In the Ministerial Statement Pushing Ahead with Reform: Removing Obstacles to FDI in South East Europe, which was signed in Vienna on 11 July 2003 at the annual Ministerial Meeting of the Investment Compact, Ministers recognised "the importance of achieving further significant progress in the areas of regulatory reform, public and private governance, and combating corruption more effectively and encourage further work in these policy areas". Ministers agreed that these areas should play a more central role in government policy and indicated that their 2004 meeting would place major emphasis on reviewing progress achieved in these areas.
At the proposal of the Romanian co-chair of the Investment Compact, SEE country representatives agreed to establish a Steering Group on Regulatory Governance under the co-ordination of the RGI. The aim of the Steering Group was to accelerate the regulatory reform process in the region and to prepare for the 2004 Ministerial Meeting. The first Steering Group Meeting took place in Bucharest 12 December 2003 with the support of Romania.
The Regulatory Governance Initiative 2001-2002: Past regional seminars
The RGI was launched at the Seminar Foundations for Investment: Progress and Challenges in Regulatory Reform in South East Europe supported by Greece in October 2001. The RGI aims at strengthening the institutional, knowledge and process capacities for developing and implementing efficient and effective regulation, supportive of sound and competitive markets.
The RGI seminars take note of the 1995 Recommendation of the Council of the OECD on Improving the Quality of Government Regulation and the 1997 OECD Report on Regulatory Reform principles and examine how countries in SEE could benefit from the application of the principles in building regulatory capacities suited to the domestic conditions of each economy.
Since the launching event, several regional seminars were organised by the RGI on the demand of SEE countries:
On a special request from the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a seminar on Regulatory Governance and Network Industries was organised in co-operation with the Office of the High Representative. Discussions of the Seminar focussed on: (1) benefits from regulatory reform, the rule of law and good governance, (2) setting up regulatory independent authorities, and (3) the design of regulatory reforms in the telecommunications, energy and transportation sectors.
On 23-24 January 2003, a seminar on The Use of Regulatory Impact Analysis to Foster Economic Efficiency and Policy Coherence was organised in Sofia with the support of Bulgaria. The Seminar explored how to reduce regulatory costs on businesses, while maximising the effectiveness of government action in protecting public interests.
A seminar on Building Independent Regulators in Key Economic Sectors took place in Prague, 12-13 June 2003, in co-operation with the Government of the Czech Republic. The Seminar discussed the policy implications of designing independent institutions in relation to the rest of the governance system (i.e., relations with the ministries, the parliament, the judiciary, and competition authorities).
On 18 July 2002, SEE governments adopted the Ministerial Declaration Attracting Investment to South East Europe: Common Principles and Best Practices. The Declaration acknowledged that "sustained and intensified efforts are needed within the framework of the Investment Compact to implement economic, legal and administrative reforms and to provide for good governance structures which are essential for creating confidence in public administration and the efficient functioning of markets and enterprises".
To assist the implementation of this Declaration, the OECD helped SEE countries to prepare individual Action Plans. The Action Plans were based on a Self-Assessment Questionnaire prepared by the OECD Secretariat and discussed at each RGI event. The Action Plans constituted an integrate part of the Monitoring Instruments.
Nick Malyshev, Head of the Regulatory Policy Division, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, Nick.firstname.lastname@example.org
Seminars and events on central regulatory policy issues
On demand of the SEE countries, the Secretariat prepared four events on regulatory policy issues. On a special request from the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a Seminar on Regulatory Governance and Network Industries was organised in co-operation with the Office of the High Representative.
As a follow up, a seminar on “How to Implement Economic Reforms: Improving Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) in South East Europe” was held in Belgrade with the support of Serbia, on 30-31 October 2007.