The agreement, which involves the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission, is part of the cutting red tape campaign that has been gaining momentum in Brussels and Strasbourg.
In future the commission will consult and take into account the views of the council and parliament before adopting its annual work programme. The three bodies will identify joint legislative priorities for the following year.
And the commission will also undertake public consultations, with a particular emphasis on encouraging small and medium-sized businesses to voice their views.
As part of this process of improving the quality of EU laws, impact assessments will be given a higher profile and will take account of the impact of new laws on competitiveness, especially where SMEs are concerned
“The agreement on better law-making reflects the joint commitment of the EU institutions to make the life of citizens and companies easier,” said Nicolas Schmit, minister of labour, employment and the social and solidarity economy.
“Laws need to be simple to understand and to implement, and that’s precisely what the agreement seeks to ensure.”
The commission and parliament have also committed to working more closely to increase the efficiency of their legislative work and to ensure transparency and improve communication to the public throughout the whole legislative cycle.
The agreement will come into operation once it has been finalised and signed by the presidents of the three institutions.