About the project

The Better Regulation for Better Health (BRBH) project is a multi-disciplinary study of how the European Union’s Better Regulation agenda affects its health policies and governance. It is funded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) as part of a Future Leaders Fellowship, held by the project’s principal investigator, Dr Eleanor Brooks. The project runs from 2021 to 2024 and is hosted at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science.  

The Better Regulation agenda is a ‘good governance’ programme, designed to improve and ensure the quality of legislative output in the EU via a range of tools and activities, including mandatory impact assessment, stakeholder consultation and periodic review of the ‘fitness for purpose’ of existing regulation. Whilst much attention has been paid to assessing its aggregate effectiveness and dynamics, the BRBH project will provide the first comprehensive study of how Better Regulation affects a specific policy sector – that of health – and support greater involvement of civil society actors in future Better Regulation processes.  

The project is divided into three work packages. 

Work package one

In work package one, a core dataset will be collated to trace how Better Regulation processes operated in a series of case studies, each a piece of health-related legislation. This will underpin examination of a number of research questions, including but not limited to: 

  • which actors are involved and empowered within Better Regulation processes? 
  • how is evidence used within Better Regulation processes? 
  • are the objectives and outcomes of Better Regulation compatible with wider commitments (e.g. to health, sustainability, transparency, utilisation of evidence)? 

Work package two

Work package two takes a broader, exploratory approach in considering how Better Regulation fits with wider agendas and dynamics. Here we are concerned with the interaction between Better Regulation narratives about (de)regulation, economic growth, prosperity, social investment, integration, solidarity and other core Union discourses. 

Work package three

In co-production with the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), a leading Brussels-based health NGO, work package three both contributes to and applies the findings of work packages one and two. It provides for a series of knowledge exchange and capacity building elements, engagement with a wide range of stakeholders and policy actors, and the development of a range of policy-facing outputs.  

About the project


The BRBH project was conceived to engage a wide range of academic and practitioner partners, by utilising a flexible work programme. If you’re involved in research, advocacy, teaching, policy-making, capacity-building, knowledge exchange or any similar form of work on EU policy issues, we’d love to hear from you! See the ‘get involved’ section for full details.