Assessment of Policy Interrelationships and Impacts on Sustainability in Europe - The APRAISE 3E method

Type of practice:

Assessment of Policy Interrelationships and Impacts on Sustainability in Europe - The APRAISE 3E method

Assessment of Policy Interrelationships & Impacts on Sustainability in Europe” (APRAISE) aims at enhancing policy makers’ insights on the effects of (a set of) policy instruments toward environmental goals and sustainability. For this, the project takes as a starting point that policy makers, when designing policies and selecting policy instruments, make use of the best available knowledge of how policy instruments work in terms of direction and strength towards achieving a goal and how goals can be achieved with lowest resources.

In reality, however, the optimal outcome which policy makers expect to achieve by means of a given set of policy instruments (based on efficacy knowledge) is often not realized in practice. In other words, the actual effect of policy instruments (effectiveness) could in practice deviate from expectations. Such deviations are explored in APRAISE by evaluating case studies in six categories in seven EU Member States (Austria, Estonia, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Slovenia and the UK, with a specific focus on whether:

  • 1  the economic or political context for policy instruments was different from the one expected,
  • 2  the implementation of the policy instrument was hampered or facilitated unexpectedly, or
  • 3 Interactions of the assessed policy instrument with other policy instruments gave rise to deficiencies or synergies.

In addition to a policy evaluation with help of environmental policy case studies, APRAISE also applies a set of modeling instruments to assess the influence of environmental policy instruments on the state of the environment and sustainability more generally. With this more quantitative approach ex- ante views (scenarios) can be developed on how implementation of policy instruments leads to the adoption of environmental technologies and how this supports ecological sustainability and economic performance. In APRAISE, modeling elicits the effects a policy instrument is expected to exert under optimal conditions (efficacy) and the relation of these effects to the incurred costs (efficiency).

A variety of models is used in APRAISE for efficacyand efficiency assessments, which basically serve two different purposes. The Business Strategy Assessment Model (BSAM) models the decision-making process of power suppliers concerning the technologies employed for producing electricity. This combined model also shows how this decision making process is influenced by relevant environmental policies. This approach will thus represent the bottom-up perspective to the efficacy and efficiency of environmental policy instruments and provide us with ideas as to how many environmental technology devices are or will be installed and what their environmental effects will be.

By contrast, the model Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) in combination with VTT TIMES, models the macro-economic effects arising from environmental policy instruments and the investment in the corresponding technologies induced by them. The effects include the impact of these investments on growth, employment and foreign trade. This group of models assumes a “social planner” perspective, looking at, and assessing, the relevant policy effects from a top-down perspective.

While both bottom-up and top-down approaches are able to model the combined, cumulated effects of several policy instruments, only the former can model policy interaction endogenously – showing how one policy instrument possibly supports or inhibits another one in achieving its intended effect. In APRAISE, a broader understanding of interaction is employed, including for instance policy instruments affecting the environmental policy to be assessed, but being employed in other sectors and intended primarily to address completely different issues.

Hence, quantitative modeling will be used in combination with the case studies. The qualitative parts will assess the diversity and complexity of policy interactions, while the quantitative (modeling) parts contribute absolute figures and the basic trends governing them.

The results of both the empiric and model-based analysis concerning the effectiveness, efficacy and efficiency of the investigated environmental policies and their interaction with each other and with other policy fields are consolidated for the environmental sectors considered, allowing for an integrated policy assessment.

Details about this APRAISE 3E-METHOD can be found in:

Project Coordinator

Dr. Vlassis Oikonomou


Dissemination leader

Ass. Prof. Alexandros Flamos


Contact Person

Ms. Niki Spyridaki


Tel: +30 210 414 2676


Responsible DG:


Year of IA Practice:

2013 to 2014