The ERF is the only Brussels-based think tank that focuses on the impact of public policy on the assessment and management of risk. It promotes the development and adoption of modern policies and institutional structures that can help to ensure high quality risk assessment and management decisions across a wide range of sectors at EU-level. The ERF targets opinion-formers and decision-makers in the Commission, Council and Parliament. It focuses on designing and championing effective solutions to complex issues of regulatory governance.
Government regulatory decisions are fundamental for global competitiveness. They help the operation of markets but they can also distort the speed, risk, and cost of innovation; create barriers to market entry or to the use of certain technologies or substances; restrict the use of marketing techniques; divert R&D; undermine the scale and profitability of markets; and distort the allocation of capital. For these reasons, traditional advocacy strategies can also benefit from complementary ‘horizontal’ cross- sectoral approaches that target the way regulatory decisions are conceived, prepared, adopted, and implemented.
The ERF has played has contributed to:
- shaping the impact assessment system of the Commission and European Parliament,
- the direction and content of the Better Regulation Policy Guidelines,
- the appointment of the EU Chief Scientific Advisor and the Advisory Council on Science and Technology,
- and developing and championing the Innovation Principle. The ERF actively promotes:
- further refinement of EU guidelines on impact assessment, including ex post evaluation,
- appropriate use of scientific evidence in policy making,
- correct application of the Precautionary Principle and
- a mutually beneficial, constructive and science based EU-US regulatory dialogue.
Membership of the ERF delivers a unique set of benefits:
- Effective engagement – ERF members can contribute to shaping the rules and procedures used by the EU’s institutions to determine how regulatory decisions are made. This helps ensure that decisions are based on evidence (particularly science); that decision-makers are properly informed about costs and benefits, and have access to a wide range of views; and that policy-makers can learn from experience.
- Institutional dialogue – ERF members are regularly involved in formal and informal dialogue with senior officials and experts who work in EU institutions.
- Cross-sectoral learning – ERF members share ideas with, and learn from each other, experts in other sectors, lawyers, leading academics, and senior regulators from outside the EU (for example from the OECD, the US and Australia)), thereby complementing and sharpening their understanding of the EU decision-making process and effectively calibrating advocacy strategies.
- Strategic vision – The ERF helps members understand and anticipate the impact of regulatory trends and their implications for competitiveness. Recent work by the ERF has covered issues such as societal acceptance of new technologies and associated hazards, defensive R&D, demand stigmatisation, regulation and innovation, substantive guidance, and judicial review.
- Continued assistance – The ERF provides valuable long-term policy context for short-term sector-specific advocacy campaigns. For example, advocacy arguments based on the need for regulators to adhere to ‘horizontal’ procedural standards and rules, can often form a valuable part of a wider issue-based campaign.
For more information, please contact: Dirk HUDIG, ERF Secretary-General, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The complete list of ERF Members is available here.