At its meeting on 3 July 2009, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the Royal Decree regarding Regulatory Impact Assessment Reports. The Royal Decree, for the first time, makes analysis of potential impact on competition mandatory when evaluating draft laws and regulations. The wording of the Royal Decree has paid special attention to assessing the economic impact of regulatory proposals, with a comprehensive approach that goes beyond just estimating the budgetary cost and with emphasis on the implications for competition. The future Regulatory Impact Assessment Reports, which will accompany all legislative bills and regulatory proposals, must include an examination of the proposed policy's effects on free competition in the markets.

Making inclusion of competition assessment mandatory in future Reports is in line with two of the most important documents made public by the National Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia) (CNC) since its creation. These are the 2008 report Recommendations to Public Authorities for More Efficient and Pro-competitive Market Regulation and the 2009 Guide for Preparing Competition Assessment Reports on Regulatory Proposals, which will no doubt prove very valuable to regulators, law and policy makers at all levels when carrying out the competition analysis now required by the Royal Decree. The CNC will going forward pay special attention to this obligation in all regulatory drafts, making sure that the content of the Reports contains an in-depth analysis of the potential impact on competition. 3