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Simpler & Better The Netherlands program to reform the regulation of activities affecting the physical environment Jan Teekens.

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Presentation on theme: "Simpler & Better The Netherlands program to reform the regulation of activities affecting the physical environment Jan Teekens."— Presentation transcript:

1 Simpler & Better The Netherlands program to reform the regulation of activities affecting the physical environment Jan Teekens

2 Societal challenges Need for quicker, better and lasting decisons Obstacles to dynamic, integrated and sustainable solutions Unsatisfactory legislation and regulatory practice The Simpler & Better Program Improve all stages of the regulatory cycle EU legislation Hidden opportunities for EU Environmental Directives? Content of this presentation Content of this presentation 2

3 Societal challenges Societal challenges Need for quicker, better and lasting decisons 3

4 Societal challenges Tackling depopulated areas & Revitalizing inner-cty neighbourhoods 4

5 Societal challenges Improving geographical access and reliability 5

6 Societal challeges Adapting to climate change - improving flood defences 6

7 Societal challenges Investing in renewable energy production 7

8 Obstacles to dynamic, integrated and sustainable solutions Obstacles to dynamic, integrated and sustainable solutions Unsatisfactory legislation and regulatory practice 8

9 An expanding volume of rules An accumulation of requirements A complex body of laws Design of national laws not attuned to EU legislation Inaccessible legislation 9

10 A multitude of authorisations, procedures, competent authorities An increasing burden to assess the impact of planned activities Juridification: an increasing recourse to legal process to resolve disputes Complex decison making 10

11 Insufficient quality of public services Administrators lack creative thinking and focus on avoiding risks Inadequate supervision and enforcement Underperforming government 11

12 Leading to: A high degree of uncertainty Delays, increasing costs, stagnation Little room to manoeuvre Sub-optimal compromises High regulatory burden and failing compliance Desired (environmental) outcomes not timely/fully delivered 12

13 The Simpler & Better Program The Simpler & Better Program Providing room for development and safeguarding a high quality physical environment 13 Allow for more efficient and effective action by improving the design, content, volume and application of the legislation Existing levels of protection are maintained

14 The Simpler & Better Program 14 Identified as top priority in Coalition Agreement Program led by Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment Ministerial Committee (7 Ministers) chaired by Prime Minister

15 The Simpler & Better Program Public (internet) consultation Advisory committees Round table stakeholder discussions (NGO’s, Businesses) Dialogue with representatives of provinces, municipalities and waterboards Use of social media 15

16 The Simpler & Better Program The Simpler & Better Program Main activities 16 Create one new comprehensive Act Streamline and cut back secondary legislation Support and facilitate implementation on the ground (digitalisation) Promote good regulatory practices Feed back findings into EU legislation

17 The Simpler & Better Program The Simpler & Better Program Goals 17 More transparency, predictability and usability when applying the law A more integrated approach of the physical environment in policy-, law- and decision making Greater administrative discretion to allow for variation, making it easier to respond to regional and local differences Quicker and better decision making on projects in the physical environment

18 The Environment & Planning Act (Omgevingswet) Land use planning Environmental protection Nature conservation Construction of buildings Cultural heritage Water management Urban and rural redevelopment Development of major public and private works (harbors, airports, roads, railways, water works, electricity networks, pipelines) Mining and earth removal 18 One Act which regulates all activities affecting the physical environment (the natural and built environment in which people live) Building on previous reform programs (Crisis & Recovery Act) Replaces 17 acts and incorporates rules from 20 other acts Re-transposes (parts of) 37 EU Environmental Directives Covers:

19 The Environment & Planning Act The Environment & Planning Act Main elements Reduce the diversity of policy and legal instruments Create uniformity in procedures Design the new Act in line with relevant EU Environmental Directives, following a more systematic approach for managing and developing a sustainable physical environment (Environmental Policy Cycle) 19

20 Environmental Policy Cycle & supporting procedures 20

21 The Environment & Planning Act The Environment & Planning Act Main elements Broaden the use of programs for achieving environmental quality standards (linking measures taken at different locations and moments in time) At national and provincial level: obligation to integrate different sectoral policy strategies into one single policy strategy At provincial and municipal level: obligation to integrate different sectoral and planning regulations into one single ordinance or plan 21

22 The Environment & Planning Act The Environment & Planning Act Main elements Engage the public at early stages of decision making on large projects Improve the use of EIA by further integration of EIA in decision-making and simplifying procedural obligations Allow research data to remain valid for longer and streamline research obligations Improve access of data related to the physical environment to facilitate authorities, businesses and the general public and reduce the burden of providing data for permit applications and impact assessments 22

23 The Environment & Planning Act The Environment & Planning Act Main elements Expand the integrated environmental permit to more domains Further develop one stop shop (one digital application, one permit, one single point of contact) Shorten decision making for land use related issues from 26 to 8 weeks 23

24 Revision of secondary legislation First stage covers around 117 Orders in Council (± 2740 rules) Goals: improve transparency, accessibility, usability and understanding of legislation for citizens, businesses, government, judiciary & policy makers Integrating, harmonising, streamlining and simplifying rules Repeal obsolete and unnecessary rules Cluster rules in limited number of statutory instruments Provide flexibility within rules 24

25 EU legislation EU legislation Hidden opportunities for EU Environmental Directives? Improving the implementation of EU Environmental law by exploring opportunities for a simpler and smarter legislative design Harmonising, streamlining, integrating and simplifying EU Directives? - plans and programs - reporting and inspection - interrelationships between regulation of ambient air and noise - interrelationships between regulation of waters and habitats Joint Member States & Commission initiative Building on insights and experiences in Member States with regard to implementation of EU law and national law reform programs Input for REFIT 25

26 Thank you for your attention! 26


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