The discourse of 'Better Regulation' is a hot topic, intimately associated with the drive for cost savings and a more efficient economy. In the UK and in the EU, rule-makers have lately endeavoured to achieve a more satisfactory balance between the demands of proper protection from market failure and inequity on the one hand, and commercial freedom and the potential for innovation on the other. But who is the regulator listening to, and what effect does this have on the regulatory pattern governing the integrating EU market? What is best practice in the matter of regulatory assessment. The essays in this collection explore these and other questions and will foster greater understanding of UK and EU regulation, the accountability issues involved, and problems of enforcement. It is no coincidence that since efforts to construct a Constitution for Europe have stalled the attention of policy-makers, politicians and the business community has turned instead to the quest for Better Regulation - or perhaps, it might be said, a "Better European Union".
Stephen Weatherill is Jacques Delors Professor of European Law at Oxford University and a Fellow of Somerville College.