Finnegan's Take

Lawmakers will soon have so many issues to consider that they will be unable to function

A new report by a panel of innovation experts offers a useful insight into the thinking that will shape next year’s European Innovation Act.

It covers financing, collaboration and it attempts to broaden the definition of innovation. It is also full of detailed ideas for revamping innovation in Europe. If you’re interested, you can read more here.

But what strikes me about it – and this, admittedly is not the main point of the report – is that the group suggests that EU regulations and directives should support innovation and public procurment.

Sounds fine, perhaps. But then you start to think about all the other toes regulators must avoid stepping on when attempting to draft a law.

The innovation act will be modelled on the Small Business Act which urges lawmakers to Think Small First and consider SMEs when making any new rules.

Likewise, governments like to ‘equality proof’ and ‘poverty proof’ new laws, and the EU would like member states to subscribe to its Better Regulation agenda and resist the temptation to create unnecessary reams of red tape. The list goes on.

In their own right, all of these are fine. But can all laws be pro-innovation, pro-SME, pro-equality, and pro-social justice all at once? And if an argument can be made which suggests a new law is not ‘pro-SMEs’, should it be scrapped?

There will soon be so many things to juggle when drafting new regulations that legislators will no longer be able to legislate.

Maybe that’s the point…

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