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Over-regulation, Degradation of the Rule of Law and Implementation of Sustainable Practices

Challenges on the Path Toward Sustainability in Europe

ISBN: 978-1-80043-973-3, eISBN: 978-1-80043-972-6

Publication date: 4 December 2020


This chapter provides comments and suggestions to the lawmaker, and especially to economic policy-makers in the field of the optimal regulatory framework and implementation of sustainable practices. The main findings are as follows: (1) degradation of the rule of law in several European Union (EU) Member States and constant political undermining of the legal institutions represent the main threat for the implementation of sustainable practices and development; (2) the golden regulatory rule of thumb provides that regulatory intervention is suggested merely in cases of market failures under the condition that the costs of such intervention do not exceed the benefits; (3) over-regulation might impede implementation of sustainable practices, distort the operation of the market, undermine productivity, diminish growth and social wealth and consequently also sustainability; (4) efficiency and wealth maximization should be the lawmaker’s leading normative principle in designing the legal framework that will enable effective implementation of sustainable practices; (5) the efficient level of harmonization or subsidiarity of decision-making in the EU urges for a rigorous investigation of costs and benefits of the EU top-down harmonization policies which should lead to a better, efficient vertical allocation of sustainability agenda between EU and the Member States; and (6) The Reflection Paper on Sustainable Development Goals – “Towards a Sustainable Europe in 2030” – represents an effective institutional framework in pursue of the overall sustainability targets.



Kovac, M. and Vandenberghe, A.-S. (2020), "Over-regulation, Degradation of the Rule of Law and Implementation of Sustainable Practices", Žabkar, V. and Redek, T. (Ed.) Challenges on the Path Toward Sustainability in Europe, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 271-295.



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