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25-26 January 2018: Workshop on Policy Evaluation in the EU


25-26 JANUARY 2018

Campus Brussels (Maastricht University)

Organised by Dr. Paul Stephenson with Prof. Frans Leeuw

The workshop was co-financed by the Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERiM), FASoS Research Stimulation Fund (RSF), Stichting Universiteitsfond Limburg (SWOL) and the Law Faculty of Maastricht University. 

We welcomed 46 participants: a mix of academics, both junior and senior, and various practitioners from the EU institutions and beyond, including from the European Parliament, European Commission's Joint Research Centre, the Regulatory Scrutiny Board and European Court of Auditors

The aim of the workshop was to stimulate debate on approaches to policy evaluation in the EU by bring together EU policy researchers with scholars from the evaluation community. We sought to explore conceptual and methodological approaches to engaging in evaluation, and to take critical perspectives on current evaluation practices in the world of policy making and implementation. 

We welcomed proposals for research papers addressing the following themes:

  • Approaches to EU policy, programme, or project evaluation
  • Ex ante, mid term and ex post perspectives on policy analysis, including monitoring
  • Theories, concepts and frameworks applied in the evaluation of EU policy
  • Perspectives on effectiveness, efficiency and economy in EU policy studies
  • The link between implementation and evaluation and/or evaluation and agenda-setting
  • Gauging success and failure in EU policy analysis, including framing and discourse
  • Contributions from different perspectives on evaluation, and in particular, realist evaluations of policy making and implementation
  • Evaluation actors, institutions and evaluation culture in the EU



09.30-10.00     Registration and Coffee on Arrival

10.00-11.20     Panel 1: Key themes in Evaluation: Function, Culture, and Experiment

11.20-11.40     Coffee Break

11.40-13.00     Panel 2: Evaluation and the European Commission

13.00-14.00     Buffet Lunch/Networking

14.00-15.20     Panel 3: Evaluation in National Practice (UK, DK, IT)

15.20-15.40     Coffee Break

15.40-17.00     Panel 4: Evaluation in the European and National Parliaments

17.00-17.20     Coffee Break

17.20-18.40     Panel 5: Evaluation, Peformance, and Learning

18.40-21.00     Drinks Reception/Evening Buffet



09.00-09.30     Coffee on Arrival

09.30-10.50     Panel 6: Evaluation Across Policy Areas (rail, research, trade)

10.50-11.10     Coffee Break

11.10-12.00     Panel 7 + 8 condensed: Evaluation, Audit, and Cohesion Policy and Legal Evaluation and                              the Effectiveness of Law

12.00-12.45     Discussion of emerging themes/challenges

12.45-13.00     Going Forwards

13.00-14.00     Buffet Lunch/Networking




Panel 1: Key themes in Evaluation: Function, Culture, and Experiment

  • Steffen Eckhard & Vytautas Jankauskas - The Evaluation Function in International Organizations: Interest-Driven Approach
  • Bernard Naudts & Nils Bjoerksten - The State of EU Policy Evaluation
  • Mikael Hildén - Evaluations and the Culture of Experimentation

Chair and discussant: Julian Hörner


Panel 2: Evaluation and the European Commission

  • Isabel Camisão & Paulo Vila Maior - Failure or success? Assessing the European Commission’s new instrument to foster the EU’s economic recovery
  • Claire Dunlop & Claudio Radaelli - Don't think so! Who contests what in the impact assessments of the European Commission?
  • Enkelejda Havari - Counterfactual Impact Evaluation (CIE) of EU Policies
  • Alexander Kleibrink & Ignacio González-Vazquez - Evaluating Policy Design in the European Union: New Conditionalities, Implementation as Usual?

Chair and discussant: Peter Dahler-Larsen


Panel 3: Evaluation in National Practice (UK, DK, IT)

  • Peter Dahler-Larsen - Classifying factors influencing the ‘evaluability’ of policy instruments: a case study of Danish work place assessments under EU directive 89/391
  • Mita Marra - Behavioral insights from the Italian performance based-governance system to integrate performance measurement with program evaluation
  • John Bell - Win-win or zero sum game? Evaluation challenges in the UK for an ESF project with dual policy drivers

Chair and discussant: Mikael Hildén


Panel 4: Evaluation in the European & National Parliaments

  • Alina Dobreva - Citizens’ Expectations and Evaluations of EU Policies
  • Julian Hörner - The Use of Policy Evaluation Reports in the Scrutiny of EU Affairs by National Parliaments
  • Irmgard Anglmayer & Amandine Scherrer - Ex-post evaluation at the European Parliament – methodology and practice

Chair and discussant: Alfredo De Feo


Panel 5: Evaluation, Peformance, and Learning

  • Oliver Schwab - Varieties of evaluation in the EU: Between learning and control, between levels
  • Lorenzo Pirelli - The European Court of Auditors’ performance audit and their potential for learning: current role, possible developments
  • Patrick Kenis & Alfredo De Feo - From indicators in evaluation to the decision-making process (or not): metrics, learning, governance

Chair and discussant: Paulo Vila Maior



Panel 6: Evaluation Across Policy Areas (rail, research, trade)

  • Lut Mergaert, Rachel Minto & María Bustelo - Improving the evaluation of crosscutting objectives: towards effective gender mainstreaming in EU research policy
  • Fabrizio De Francesco - Following evidence practice: an analysis of evaluation studies on EU rail liberalisation
  • Andreas Kopp - Quantification of indirect benefits: evaluating trade benefits

Chair and discussant: Claudio Radaelli


Panel 7: Evaluation, Audit, and Cohesion Policy

  • Mihaela Aioanei - Institutionalising Evaluation as an Improvement Mechanism for Public Intervention: the case of cohesion policy in Romania (not attending)
  • Jonas Schoenefeld, Mikael Hildén, Kai Schulze & Andy Jordan - The challenges of monitoring national climate policy: learning lessons from the EU
  • Martin Weber & Benjamin Jakob - Policy evaluation of the delivery system for EU public expenditure programmes: the work of the European Court of Auditors on Cohesion policy (not attending)
  • Valérie Pattyn, Bart De Peuter and Marleen Brans - Towards a shift in the purpose of evaluation? The case of the Flemish Government'


Panel 8: Legal Evaluation and the Effectiveness of Law

  • Stijn Smismans & Eleni Kaprou - A Fitness Check of EU Fitness Checks
  • Or Brook - Evaluating the 2004 “modernization” of EU competition law: an empirical coding (not attending)
  • Melanie Smith & Sara Drake - Exploring constructs of effective enforcement: bridging disciplinary approaches (not attending)

Chair and discussant: Steffen Eckhard


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