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Are integrated impact assessments the way forward for mainstreaming in the European Union?

Smismans, Stijn ORCID: and Minto, Rachel ORCID: 2017. Are integrated impact assessments the way forward for mainstreaming in the European Union? Regulation and Governance 11 (3) , pp. 231-251. 10.1111/rego.12119

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This article assesses the utility of impact assessments (IA) as an effective tool for mainstreaming. Specifically, it analyses whether the European Union’s (EU) system of integrated impact assessments (IIA) contributes to the realisation of six mainstreaming objectives defined in the EU Treaties. The article first studies whether the legal framework for the EU’s system of IIAs makes it a viable tool for mainstreaming. It then proceeds with an empirical analysis of 35 impact assessments to assess the extent to which mainstreaming objectives are taken into account in practice. The analysis shows that all the six mainstreaming objectives have a place within the IIA system, but the system does not ensure systematic consideration of them. There is considerable variation across the mainstreaming agendas as well as across Directorates-General. The article concludes the IIA system is no panacea for mainstreaming, while proposing changes to the institutional framework to improve its mainstreaming potential.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: policy; coordination; European Union; governance; impact assessment; mainstreaming
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1748-5983
Funders: European Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 November 2016
Date of Acceptance: 28 February 2016
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 14:19

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