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Theory and Practice of Regulatory Impact Assessments in Europe: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspective

Theory and Practice of Regulatory Impact Assessments...

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Event Details

UCL Centre for Law, Economics and Society
with ENA


Theory and Practice of Regulatory Impact Assessments in Europe:
A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspective 

Monday 10 June 2013
at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA) 

About the conference:
The main goal of this conference is to portray and analyze the development of the use of Impact Assessments throughout the European Union and its member States as a standard of good governance and, in some cases, as a legal standard which imposes constraints on the administrative action, regulatory or legislative actions. Admittedly, this tool has long been used and known especially in the field of environmental law or public health and the idea is not foreign to the use of economic record in a number of areas of public economic law. Impact assessment forms inherent part of the rise of the “Better Regulation” movement in Europe and the adoption of a number of tools with the aim to measure (Standard Cost Model) and reduce administrative burdens or to evaluate the impact of public policies.

The conference aims to examine in a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective the implementation of impact assessment in the European Union (EU) and Member States of the EU.

The conference will also be an opportunity to present the first empirical results of the joint project of Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) Gutenberg chair and the Centre for Law, Economics and Society (CLES) at University College London (UCL) on Regulatory Impact Assessments in Europe. For more information on this project, headed by Dr. Ioannis Lianos (Director, CLES/Gutenberg chair at the ENA) see

The conference will provide a practical and theoretical perspective on this fascinating and emergent topic with the participation of leading experts from Europe and the United States.

The Programme
08:30 Registration

Panel 1: One tool, many uses ? : Regulatory impact assessment, public policy and institutions
The first panel will introduce the first empirical findings of the Gutenberg chair team at the ENA and UCL on the practice of regulatory impact assessments in a number of jurisdictions in Europe and will critically analyse the different theoretical frameworks that have been advanced to explain the evolution of this tool and its use. We will reflect on the theories on offer, in particular by exploring the link often made between the institutional setting and the quality of regulatory impact assessments, the link between policy analysis and discursive practice, the implications of the emergence of the concept of "evidence-influenced" policy-making and the challenge of constructing a truly inter-disciplinary theoretical framework in order to understand the practice of regulatory impact assessments in Europe and other jurisdictions. Questions to be examined in this first panel include, among others, the choice of alternative institutional settings, the concept of "evidence" in RIA, the multiple understandings of the concept of regulatory impact assessment and the different views existing on the objectives of the tool.

Chair: Fabrice Larat (Director CERA, ENA)


  • Ioannis Lianos (CLES UCL, Gutenberg chair ENA) & Mihaly Fazekas (CLES UCL, ENA) 
  • Andrea Renda (Centre for European Policy Studies) 
  • Katarina Staronova (Institute of Public Policy, Comenius University, Bratislava) 
  • John Turnpenny (University of East Anglia)


10:45 Break

Panel 2: The contribution of the regulatory impact assessment tool in reframing "public policy" analysis
It is often advanced that methodology and tools/technologies frame the content of the analysis and define the aim of scientific inquiry. Starting from the tool of impact assessments and the evolution of the various RIA technologies, this panel will examine how the evolution of the different tools and techniques employed for the evaluation of policy options in the context of regulatory impact assessments affects the way we perceive "good" public policy analysis and the way we define the objectives of public policy in general. Exploring various national experiences (in the United States and in Europe), we will aim to discern how the introduction of regulatory impact assessments and their evolution in each context changed, for example, the existing conceptions of the rôle of the State or of what constitutes "good" public policy. We will also attempt to make some predictions over the evolution of RIA techniques in the future and the corresponding changes in the definition of objective criteria for "good" public policy or of "good" public policy discourse.

Chair: Ioannis Lianos (UCL)


  • Claire Dunlop (University of Exeter) 
  • Michael Gremminger & Mr. Stephen Banable (European Commission, Secretariat General, Regulatory Policy and Impact Assessment) 
  • Mike Livermore (Institute for Policy Integrity, New York University Law School) 
  • Jonathan Wiener (Duke University School of Law) 
  • Gregory Bounds (OECD) 
  • Thomas Fish (Regulatory Policy Committee UK) 
  • Charles-Henri Montin (Senior Regulatory Adviser, Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, France)
13:00 Lunch

Panel 3: Regulatory impact assessments and their actors 
This part of the workshop will focus on the actors contributing to regulatory impact assessment analysis. We will first analyse the transformation of public bureaucracies following the introduction of the regulatory impact assessment tool as well as the challenges of RIA for judicial review and the role of the judiciary, before exploring the emergence of a market for regulatory impact assessment analysis in Europe, with a number of consultancies operating in various jurisdictions and internationally.

Chair: Bertrand Du Marais (Council of State, France)


  • Alberto Alemanno (HEC Paris) 
  • Liza Bellulo (Autorité de la concurrence, France) 
  • James Broughel (Mercatus Centre, George Mason University) 
  • Cristina Caffarra (CRA International) 
  • Katarina Granath (Deloitte Consulting) 
  • Daniel Trnk (OECD)
  • Joelle Simon (Director of Legal Service, MEDEF)
16:15 Break

Panel 4: Regulatory impact assessments as political arguments
The panel will examine the use of regulatory impact assessments as political arguments in various contexts. We will explore how the introduction of the tool of regulatory impact assessment has changed the practice of lobbying and the incorporation of the views of stakeholders to the political decision-making process, the strategies followed by the different political actors after the implementation of the tool, how this changes the inter-institutional balance in the context of the EU or in a national context between the legislative and the executive powers or how this affects the negotiation tactics of the Member States of the EU in the context of collective decision-making.

Chair: Ioannis Lianos (CLES UCL, Gutenberg chair ENA)


  • Michael Gremminger & Mr. Stephen Banable (European Commission, Secretariat General, Regulatory Policy and Impact Assessment) 
  • Joacquim Beck (Director, Euroinstitut) 
  • Fredy Lemaitre & John Ahuy (French National Assembly) 
  • Hélène Michel (University of Strasbourg)  
  • Elke Ballon (Head of Impact Assessment, European Parliament)
18:45 Conference ends 
Do you have questions about Theory and Practice of Regulatory Impact Assessments in Europe: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspective? Contact the organiser
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