The first five years of the EU Impact Assessment system: a risk economics perspective on gaps between rationale and practice
Torriti, J. and Lofstedt, R. (2012) The first five years of the EU Impact Assessment system: a risk economics perspective on gaps between rationale and practice. Journal of Risk Research, 15 (2). pp. 169-186. ISSN 1466-4461
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2011.634512
In 2003 the European Commission started using Impact Assessment (IA) as the main empirical basis for its major policy proposals. The aim was to systematically assess ex ante the economic, social and environmental impacts of EU policy proposals. In parallel, research proliferated in search for theoretical grounds for IAs and in an attempt to evaluate empirically the performance of the first sets of IAs produced by the European Commission. This paper combines conceptual and evaluative studies carried out in the first five years of EU IAs. It concludes that the great discrepancy between rationale and practice calls for a different theoretical focus and a higher emphasis on evaluating empirically crucial risk economics aspects of IAs, such as the value of statistical life, price of carbon, the integration of macroeconomic modelling and scenario analysis.