European Practice and Experience
Evaluating Sustainable Development series
Edited by Clive George and Colin Kirkpatrick
Chapter 6: Considering Environmental Aspects in Integrated Impact Assessment: Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead
Klaus Jacob, Julia Hertin and Axel Volkery1 I. INTRODUCTION The tool of impact assessments (IAs) has steadily gained attention throughout the last years.2 Whereas in the 1980s only a few countries had introduced procedures for regulatory impact assessment, it diﬀused more rapidly throughout the 1990s amongst OECD countries (Radaelli 2004, 2005). Initially, the main concern was to minimize costs for business actors and to increase transparency of rule making (OECD 1997). Over the last ﬁve years or so, there have been eﬀorts to integrate several sectoral assessments into one overall integrated procedure (European Commission 2002). This development is driven on the one hand by the concern for implementing the ‘better regulation’ agenda. On the other hand, IA is also promoted to address the requirements of sustainable development. Both agendas require a better integration and coherence of policies, and IA is considered as a key tool to accomplish this task. The new impetus for integrated IA has been met with great interest and expectations from the environmental side since integrated IA appears to oﬀer a new way of strengthening environmental policy integration. However, there are also many critics who fear a sidelining of the environmental agenda due to the obvious tensions with the better regulation agenda (Volkery and Jacob 2005). This chapter compares IA systems in Canada, the EU, the Netherlands, the UK, Australia, Italy and the US, exploring how the diﬀerent systems work, which functions they have, how they are situated within the political process and...
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