Political decisions more frequently based on systematic Impact Assessments / Experts recommend coordinated improvement and implementation of evaluation methods
Quelle: (idw) Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung gGmbH
Identifying the effects of political measures on environment, economy and
society in advance becomes an important factor for decision-making. Furthermore,
taking stock of the achieved outcomes after implementation remains important,
such is the résumé of the conference "Sustainable Development in Policy
Assessment - Methods, Challenges and Policy Impacts" held in Brussels on June
15th and 16th.
Over two days, experts of policy evaluation discussed the
status quo and future of the assessments of social and ecological aspects as a
basis of decision-making in the policy of the European Union and its Member
"Since 2005, Impact Assessments are compulsory for any
legislative proposals in the European Union. Until nowadays, about 600 Impact
Assessment have been carried out, two thirds of them changed the original
proposal prepared by the Commission staff", explained Robin Miège, Head of Unit
Sustainable Development and Economic Analysis at DG Environment of the European
Commission. "Impact Assessment has helped to prepare and pass difficult
legislation, for example in the field of chemistry policy".
provided by Impact Assessments contributes to policy-making, but we need "better
policy-making which includes organisational learning and change", declared Prof.
Colin Kirkpatrick, University of Manchester. "A crucial bottleneck is the
science-policy interface", stated Dr. Frieder Rubik, senior expert on policy
evaluation from the Institute for Ecological Economy Research, Berlin.
"Independent boundary organisations are needed which link both spheres".
Sharing past experiences allowed for exchanges in the assessment
community. The expert discussions showed that Impact Assessment will require
further development. Particularly, the consideration of social and ecological
impacts still has some weaknesses. Anneke von Raggamby, expert for Impact
Assessment of the Ecologic Institute Berlin stated: "In order to address
sustainability in Impact Assessments in a well-balanced manner, an appropriate
set of evaluation tools is needed. Therefore, it was important to bring together
the expert knowledge of actors involved in this field. The networking triggered
by the conference is a key factor for developing and standardizing the European
Impact Assessment - also at the Member State-level."
The conference took
place in the context of the research project "Evaluating Policies for
Sustainable Development (EPOS)", which establishes a network of leading European
institutions active in the field of social-ecological policy evaluation.
Over 120 scientists and practitioners in consulting, politics and
administration from more than 20 countries took part in the Brussels-held
conference and discussed their experiences with aligning policy evaluation on
The conference was organised by the Institute for
Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and Ecologic Institute Berlin. EPOS is a
research project funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
within the framework of social-ecological research (SÖF).