Improving the National and European Policies through Impact Assessment' Implementation

Author:Tatiana-Camelia Dogaru
Position:Assistant Professor, PhD, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania
European Integration - Realities and Perspectives 2014
Cross-border Structures and Europeanism
Improving the National and European
Policies through Impact Assessment’ Implementation
Tatiana-Camelia Dogaru
Abstract: Challenges for public policy beca me more numerous, complex and more interconnected, and
modern states are forced to make important changes in the governance process and promotion of citizens’
welfare. Focusing on development of coherent public policies, the conventional approaches appear to be
insufficient in clarifying and complete understanding of the many p roblems caused by the growing need for
state intervention in all economic and social aspects a nd require renewal of research’ methods. Renewing the
methods of r esearch stresses the contribution of public policy a nalysis to understand the current reality. The
added value of this kind of analysis consist both in instruments set used, in richness and relevance of the
interpretations that this analysis allows, as well as in guiding the national and international interest towards
development and using of some i nstruments of public p olicy (Lee & Kirkpatrick , 2006). The study looks at
the purpose, scope and procedures of impact assessments carried out in the European Commission and several
Member States of the EU.
Keywords: Impact assessment; European and national practice; policy analysis
1. Different approaches to Impact Assessment
Impact assessment (IA), as a key element of legislative process and public policy-making has attracted
the attention of many international actors. From a conceptual point of view, there is no single or
general definition of impact assessment. The IA is better understood both as instrument of public
policy analysis (Fischer, Miller & Sidney, 2007; Knoepfel, Larrue, Varone, & Hill, 2007) contributing
to a better selection of public policy alternatives (Hirkpatrick & Parker, 2007) and “formal evaluation
of activities initiated and coordinated by governmental administration during the policy-making
process” (Klaus, Hertin, et al., 2008). From OECD perspective, IA represents an “analytical approach
based on information in order to evaluate the possible costs, consequences and effects of a planned
instrument of public policies (OECD, 2001).
Impact assessment has been defined as “a set of logical steps to be followed when you prepare a policy
proposal. It is a process that prepares evidences for political decision-makers on the advantages and
disadvantages of public policy options by assessing their potential impacts [economic, social and
environmental]” (European Commission, 2009). The database on the practice of impact assessment in
the EU Member States (DIADEM) defines impact assessment as follows “a systematic, mandatory and
consistent of social, economic or environmental aspects or impacts [such as benefits and/or costs] of
affecting external interests of governments, of regulation proposals and other kinds of public policy
instruments, to: (a) subtend the public policy decisions before adopting; (b) assess external impacts of
Assistant Pr ofessor, PhD, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania, Address: 6 Povernei
Street, Sector 1, Bucharest, Romania, Tel.: +4021.318.08.97, Corresponding author:

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