Implementation of Better Regulation Principles in Estonian Internal Security Policy *
The article discusses the implementation of better regulation principles in internal security policy on the basis of the results of the content analysis of draft legislation and strategic policy documents and the e-survey of officials.
Internal security policy as an integral concept lacks a universal definition and therefore acts as an umbrella term to cover the plurality sub-terms, initiatives and departmental identities. Also, the operational elements of policy cycle/process are rare.
The research problem emerged from the study of the explanatory memoranda of draft legislation in 2004–2009, according to which the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice have some problems with observing the requirements of impact assessment and participation provided in legislative regulations.
As high-quality legislation is the means of achieving the political aims of the state, and the planning and budgeting of regulatory impact assessment in the state takes place through strategic documents, the following statement became the research hypothesis: the reason for the problems connected with the quality of legislation is that in the concepts, purposes and instruments of the Estonian internal security policy documents, the guidelines for better regulation (e.g. impact assessment, civic engagement, simplification) have not been taken into account.
The article opens the problem of selective obedience to rules of draft legislation, showing that the quality of public information on impact assessment and involvement of stakeholders in the explanatory memoranda of draft laws is questionable and the preconditions for evaluating the validity of constitutional legislative rules and the quality (e.g. necessity) of law are not fulfilled. Theoretical approaches (e.g. the concepts of rule of the law, discursive democracy, better regulation and risk society in the framework of institutional theory) enable to evaluate the connections between the invisible system of values, concepts, terms and routines dominant in politics and its materialisation in strategies and laws.
For the integration of better regulation and politics, the content analysis of the National Security Concept of the Republic of Estonia (2004), Main Objectives of Security Policy of Estonia until 2015 and the Development Plan for the Area of Government of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for 2011–14 was made.The authors found that it was still early to speak about the systematic implementation of better regulation principles and the integration of legal policy and internal security policy, noticeable progress had been made only in involvement of stakeholders. Development measures for better regulation were not included in the Development Plan for the Area of Government of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for 2011–14 (hypothesis). Additional electronic survey of the officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (n=104) indicates discontent with the organisation of the impact assessment of policy documents and draft legislation. According to institutional analysis this shows readiness for changes.
*Peer-reviewed research paper.