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Effective and clearly targeted regulation plays a vital role in the protection and prosperity of
economies around the world. As governments strive to stimulate fair competition, protect
the vulnerable, safeguard against environmental impact and promote equality, regulatory
frameworks continue to operate at the core of this mission.
Politicians recognise the importance of improving regulation. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, stated that "To face up to the challenges we face inside and outside Europe, policies, laws and regulations need to adapt to the fast pace of technological change, to foster innovation, to protect the welfare and safety of Europeans. Public administrations need to be effective, flexible and focused. This is the standard which the European Commission has set itself, and this is why we have made Better Regulation one of our core priorities."
However, over recent years it seems that major regulatory failures have been more visible than examples of effective regulation. Much of the world is paying the price for the disastrous failure of financial regulation. Americans have seen the result of lax regulation of the Gulf of Mexico oil industry, and the Japanese are dealing with the aftermath of the ineffective regulation of their nuclear industry.
At a time of shrinking budgets and increasing service demands, regulators face the challenge of finding more effective ways of designing and enforcing regulation, without placing unnecessary burdens on those who are regulated. There are significant challenges for regulators to face in order to become more effective, from understanding the psychology of those they regulate, to balancing enforcement with support, to ensuring they do not become risk averse or overly-bureaucratic.
The International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) carries out a substantial amount of work to support those involved in regulatory affairs across the world, providing a range of different services: