“How are environmental public policies evaluated in Europe ”
The project is an activity of a broader project “EU-China Environmental Sustainability Programme (ESP)-Lot 3: Support on the Development of National Strategy for the Control of Heavy Metal Emissions and its Demonstration in Key Polluted Areas (EuropeAid/133-582/L/ACT/CN)”, aiming at sharing experiences between EU and China on the development of environmental policies. In this project, the experience of Europe in regulating polluting industries to reduce their pollution constitutes a major point of interest, and in particular, how the economic impacts of these policies have been assessed, debated, and contributed to the development of the policy, or on the contrary were used to oppose policy development.
The EU has, on its side, long since developed guidelines and formal processes to evaluate ex-post its own programs and policies. However, Member States (MS) are free to use any kind of methodology to proceed to those evaluations, and approaches potentially vary across MS and environmental domains.
There is a traditional and still ongoing debate regarding the quantitative versus qualitative methodologies and results. Two simplified positions are, on the one hand, a focus on counterfactual econometric results evaluation, and on the other hand a focus on policy processes or social impacts determined through qualitative methodologies (institutional, organizational and sociological approaches). Between those two radical poles, many different approaches tend to combine, in various ways, both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
However, typical methodologies that are developed throughout Europe are tailored to fit to the European economic and institutional contexts, and, should they form a kind of ideal « model », their transposal to other contexts are in question.
General and specific objectives
In this context, the general objective of this task is to produce an analysis of the evolution of economic assessments of the impacts of environmental policies in the French context.
– How have French institutions assessed/anticipated the impacts of environmental policies on economic growth and development through time? What main periods can be considered along the different stages of environmental policy development in France ?
– More specifically, how were the different methods for the assessment of economic impact of environmental policies used through time by different French institutions? (e.g. ministries, « Cour des Comptes », or other auditing bodies)
– What insights can be drawn from the history of the creation of the Directorate of environmental policy evaluation (Direction des études économiques et de l’évaluation environnementale) at the French Environment Ministry and its evolution ?
– Bibliographical basic survey