Regulatory reform

International Regulatory Co-operation - Transforming rulemaking to meet the global challenges of the 21st century



International Regulatory Co-operation (IRC) enables governments to add an international lens to rulemaking

Regulation in isolation is unproductive in today’s global setting. To fully achieve public policy objectives, it is time for a paradigm shift towards more systematic consideration of the international environment in regulatory frameworks,  at the cutting edge of 21st century's zeitgeist. IRC offers a set of tools for governments and regulators to leverage international evidence and expertise and deliver better policies for their citizens. 

Tackling the complex, interconnected and rapidly changing policy challenges requires international regulatory cooperation (IRC). Experience shows that we cannot manage transboundary challenges and promote global public goods through individual action. This is compounded by new technologies, including digitalization, that pay no regard to national or jurisdictional boundaries and drastically increase the intensity of cross-border flows and transactions. In 2012, OECD countries adopted the Recommendation of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance that includes IRC as a key element of regulatory quality.


IRC plays a strong role to “harness” and create common rules of globalisation. Surprisingly, however, this potential remains largely untapped. The OECD Regulatory Policy Committee has built a wealth of knowledge to shed light on the types of challenges requiring IRC and the variety of co-operation approaches.

IRC mobilises an extensive variety of actors in the national and international rulemaking environment. At the country level, law makers and regulators across policy areas are the key initiators of IRC efforts. In the international arena, intergovernmental organisations, private standard-setters, and transgovernmental networks of regulators provide the platform for IRC to take place in specific subject areas.

The IRC policy brief is available here.


Latest updates


October 2021
Rethinking rulemaking through international regulatory co-operation  | Policy brief (from Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021)

July 2021
OECD Best Practice Principles on International Regulatory Co-operation

January 2021
Good regulatory practices and co-operation in trade agreements: A historical perspective and stocktaking

Public consultation on the draft OECD Best Practice Principles on International Regulatory Co-operation (now closed)

October 2020
International organisations in the context of COVID-19

September 2020
7th Annual Meeting of International Organisations

Review of International Regulatory Co-operation of the United Kingdom

June 2020
No policy maker is an island: the international regulatory co-operation response to the COVID-19 crisis

    How can governments address global challenges?        Who is striving to improve global co-operation?    















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