Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series
Edited by Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli
Chapter 20: European Union
The introduction of impact assessment (IA) in European Union (EU) institutions is a mixed story of success and failure. Certainly, the European Commission has managed to mainstream IA into its policy-making process during the last decade, with almost 900 IAs completed at the end of 2013. Yet, IA’s underlying purpose and methodology are still subject to an internal divide between advocates of cost-benefit analysis (CBA), with one Directorate General (DG) focused exclusively on cost, and others that show a clear preference for multi-criteria analysis. At the same time, since the Inter-Institutional Agreement on Better Lawmaking, it has taken ten years for the European Parliament to create an internal directorate dedicated to IA; whereas the Council is still reluctant to adopt the procedure. The chapter takes stock on a decade of developments and illustrates possible next steps in the diffusion and evolution of IA in the EU.
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