EAPN participated as expert stakeholder in the EU Peer Review on ex-ante Social Impact Assessment organized by the Belgian Government on the 17 and 18th of November in Brussels, providing particular input on increasing stakeholder engagement.
EAPN's paper, prepared together with the EAPN SIWG group, was presented by Maria Jeliazkova (EAPN BE) and vice-chair of the EAPN Social Inclusion Working Group. Sian Jones, EAPN Policy Coordinator also participated. Ex ante Impact Assessment, recently defined by the European Commission in its 2009 Impact Assessment Guidelines, is a process of weighing up the potential impacts of a policy before it is implemented. Social impact assessment evaluates how a given policy may impact on social indicators such as poverty or social exclusion and fit into the Europe 2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy.
Belgian made social impact assessment a priority during its presidency of the EU in the second half of 2010 and continues to search for better ways of carrying out such assessments. The Peer Review presented useful examples of micro-simulation including current work by Euromod on the impact of austerity measures, the Institute of Fiscal Studies approach to projections on poverty, and approaches to social experimentation and pilotting in different member states and improving stakeholder engagement. The Peer Review involved government and academic representatives from Austria - Cyprus - Finland - France - Greece - Ireland - Luxembourg - Norway and Spain, as well as inputs from EAPN and COFACE.
All presentations and report will soon be available on the Peer Review website.