Technik und Umwelt
Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS)
by Jens Hemmelskamp, Fabio Leone and Nathalie Vercruysse
The Directorate General for Industry (DG III) of the European Commission has started a pan-European project "Integrated Appraisal Methodology (IAPlus)" whose objective is to allow mutual integration of competitiveness and environmental requirements into the definition and implementation of all Community politicies and activities.
1. Mutual integration of environmental and competitiveness requirements into DG III policies
One key role of the Directorate General for Industry (DG III) of the European Commission is to promote the competitiveness of industry and to provide a favourable environment for business by acting as the main interface between industry and the Commission through Community policies and by developing new policies and instruments concerning industrial competitiveness.
A need has been identified to develop an Integrated Appraisal Methodology for use by DG III of the European Commission, the primary role being to allow mutual integration of competitiveness and environmental requirements into the definition and implementation of all Community policies and activities.
The obligation for the integration of environmental concerns is stated in article 3c of the Amsterdam Treaty, and its concept also mentioned in one of the key actions of the 5th European Environmental Action Programme. Furthermore, a resolution from the European Parliament calls for clear guidelines and indicators for monitoring and evaluating the degree of integration of environmental requirements into Community policies and activities.
The IAPlus project was begun in January 1999 and will be concluded in March 2000. A follow-up project entitled "A Methodology for Appraising the Sustainability Implications of EC Initiatives: The Integration of Economic, Societal and Environmental Aspects" is planned.
2. A complex and interrelated framework
The primary objective of the project "Integrated Appraisal Methodology (IAPlus)" is to produce a structured "checklist" of questions that enable the assessment of initiatives and policies in terms of environmental innovation and competitiveness issues. Thus, the appraisal methodology will consist of two parts, the environment tool and the competitiveness tool.
Specific objectives of the IAPLUS methodology include:
Whilst this checklist will only be able to achieve this in a broad-brush manner, it will nevertheless ensure that these issues are addressed in an integrated way and early on in the policy-making process.
The latter point is particularly important in ensuring that environmental issues are addressed at a time when more than one policy option may be available.
One intention of this method is that the checklist will be fairly straightforward and quick to complete, which is important if people are to be encouraged to make good use of this tool.
Innovation and competitiveness are closely related because an innovative company is usually also able to be highly competitive. Thus, the checklist should help evaluate the impact of EU policies and projects on innovation behaviour as one of the key aspects of competitiveness.
Fig.: Structure of the Integrated Appraisal Methodology
It therefore has to consider a complex and interrelated framework that distinguishes between: firstly, different impact levels, which are the macro (national), meso (industry) and micro (firm) level; secondly, between different phases of the innovation process (invention, innovation and diffusion); and finally between product, process, organisational and institutional changes. In addition, indirect effects as well as direct ones will need to be considered, and that there are often un-intended, as well as intended, effects of many policy initiatives.
3. Scope of the project
The scope will be pan-European. IAPLUS contains a list of qualitative and quantitative questions. It comprises three main sections on Indexing, Screening and Scoping.
The Indexing section asks for information about the user (e.g. name, date, etc.), details of the nature of the initiative, identification of the main aims of the initiative.
The purpose is primarily to be able to categorise the initiative being assessed and to record the details of assessment such that it can be referenced and interpreted by others or at a different time in the policy-making process. Thus the boundaries around the assessment are then defined and understood.
The Screening section contains a list of fairly broad-based questions on innovation, competitiveness and environmental issues.
At this stage the potential linkages between a policy or a project and innovation, competitiveness and environmental issues are estimated at a general level. The results of this screening phase show which topics should be studied further. The screening questions may also indicate that the policy or project has no significant impacts, in which case the appraisal process naturally ends at the screening stage.
For example, in the environmental area this could be divided in terms of impact on:
The broad areas of impact of the competitiveness screening are the ones listed below:
This screening section forms the basis from which the scoping section can deal with impacts in each of these areas in greater detail. At the scoping level arise both beneficial and non-beneficial implications of the initiative being assessed. The scoping section is designed to follow-through from the screening section questions.
The main purpose of the scoping is to provide greater detail and clarification in the areas of impact identified in the screening section. This is achieved by more specific questions in particular areas.
Each question in the scoping section is organised into a broader assessment and into more specific multiple choice sub-questions that aim at a more precise specification of the assessment. The user is assisted in replying to the first part of the question by means of background information that can be accessed ticking the more information needed box.
Further information and guidance may be needed by the user to complete these questions, and in some instances it may be necessary to obtain specialist expertise to complete a fuller assessment.
4. The project team
Dr. Per Sorup, Head of Unit, European Commission DG JRC-IPTS, Seville, Spain
Dr. Fabio Leone, The coordinator of the project, (European Commission DG JRC-IPTS)
The other members of the project team are:
Dr. Jens Hemmelskamp (European Commission DG JRC-IPTS)
Nathalie Vercruysse (European Commission DG Enterprise)
Diana Bradford (Centre for Exploitation of Science and Technology)
Prof. Antonello Zanfei (Chieti Urbino Siena Technology Organization Management)
Helena Valve (Finnish Environment Institute)
Prof. Bo Elling (University Roskilde)
Tel.: + 34 (0) 954488-301
European Commission, DG Enterprise