Towards a regulatory cycle? The use of evaluative information in impact assessments and ex-post evaluations in the European Union

Thomas van Golen, Stijn van Voorst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

As a part of its Better Regulation agenda, the European Commission increasingly stresses the link between different types of regulatory evaluations. Predictions made by Impact Assessments (IAs) could be verified during ex-post legislative evaluations, while ex-post evaluations in turn could recommend amendments to be studied in future IAs. This article combines a dataset of 309 ex-post legislative evaluations (2000-2014) and a dataset of 225 IAs of legislative updates (2003-2014) to show how many ex-post evaluations of the Commission use IAs and vice versa. This way, it explores if the Commission’s rhetoric of a ‘regulatory cycle’ holds up in practice. Building on the literature of evaluation use, we formulate the hypotheses that the timeliness, quality and focus of the IAs and evaluations are key explanations for use. Our results show that so far only ten ex-post evaluations have used IAs of EU legislation, while thirty three IAs have used ex-post legislative evaluations. Using Fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis, we find that timeliness is a necessary condition of the use of ex-post evaluations by IAs, suggesting that for the regulatory cycle to function properly, it is crucial to complete an ex-post evaluation before an IA is launched. Future research could repeat our analysis for evaluations of non-regulatory activities or study the causal mechanisms behind our findings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-403
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Risk Regulation
Volume7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

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