Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment
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Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment

Edited by Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli

This comparative Handbook provides a pioneering and comprehensive account of regulatory impact assessment – the main instrument used by governments and regulators to appraise the likely effects of their policy proposals. Renowned international scholars and practitioners describe the substance of impact assessment, situating it in its proper theoretical traditions and scrutinizing its usage across countries, policy sectors, and policy instruments. The Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment will undoubtedly be of great value to practitioners and also scholars with its wealth of detail and lessons to be learned.
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Chapter 20: European Union

Andrea Renda


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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