Policy evaluation in the EU: the challenges of linking ex ante and ex post appraisal.

Article English OPEN
Smismans, Stijn
  • Publisher: Lexxicon
  • Subject: JN

The EU’s new approach to policy evaluation is characterised by a focus on closing the policy\ud cycle (linking ex ante and ex post appraisal) and by applying evaluation to all types of\ud policy intervention, whether expenditure or regulatory policy. This article analyses the main\ud features and challenges of this new approach. It first studies the conceptual and interdisciplinary\ud challenge of such an encompassing approach to evaluation. It then assesses the new\ud approach in the light of four key objectives of ex ante and ex post appraisal; ensuring evidence\ud and learning; accountability, transparency and participation; policy coherence; and\ud reducing the regulatory burden.
  • References (83)
    83 references, page 1 of 9

    5 Melvin M. Mark, Leslie J. Cooksy and William M.K. Trochim, “Evaluation Policy: an introduction and overview”, 123 New Directions in Evaluation (2009), pp. 3 et sqq.. For a similar critique of the literature on ex ante appraisal missing out on the “policy and politics” of appraisal, see John Turnpenny, Claudio M. Radaelli, Andrew Jordan and Klaus Jacob, “The policy and politics of policy appraisal: emerging trends and new direction”, 16 Journal of European Public Policy (2009), pp. 640 et sqq.

    6 Commission Communication “Strengthening the foundations of Smart Regulation - improving evaluation”, COM(2013) 686 final, at p. 7.

    7 With the exception of the specific guidelines for ex ante evaluation on expenditure programmes. Commission, “Ex Ante Evaluation. A practical guide for preparing proposals for expenditure programmes”, DG Budget, 10 December 2001.

    8 See also Emanuela Bozzini and Jo Hunt in this Special Issue.

    9 Highlighted above, supra note 3.

    10 Melvin M. Mark, Leslie J. Cooksy and William M.K. Trochim, “Evaluation Policy: an introduction and overview”, 123 New Directions in Evaluation (2009), pp. 3 et sqq.

    11 Although the topic is only slowly finding its way to the mainstream of public policy. As Turpnenny et al. note, it is telling that no mainstream public policy textbook covers policy appraisal in much detail. John Turnpenny, Claudio M. Radaelli, Andrew Jordan and Klaus Jacob, “The policy and politics of policy appraisal: emerging trends and new direction”, 16 Journal of European Public Policy (2009), pp. 640 et sqq., at p. 641.

    12 Camille Adelle, Andrew Jordan and John Turnpenny, “Proceeding in parallel or drifting apart? A systematic review of policy appraisal research and practices”, 30 Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy (2012), pp. 401 et sqq.

    13 The four main usages are political, instrumental, communicative and perfunctory. Claire Dunlop, Martino Maggetti, Claudio Radaelli and Duncan Russel, “The Many Uses of Regulatory Impact Assessment: A Meta-Analysis of EU and UK Cases”, 6 Regulation and Governance (2012), pp. 23 et sqq.

    14 Steven Højlund, “Evaluation use in evaluation systems - the case of the European Commission”, 20 Evaluation (2014), pp. 428 et sqq.

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