Systematic behavioural support for European Commission services

An initiative to improve the support the JRC can provide to European Commission (EC) services with its behavioural sciences capacity. Systematise the application of behavioural insights to EU policy-making and increase their policy impact.

Why

Behavioural insights contribute to evidence-based policy making

A key principle of the Better Regulation package is evidence-based policymaking. Testing policy interventions beforehand goes fully in this direction, especially in areas where policy interventions’ effectiveness depends on citizens’ reactions. The inclusion of behavioural insights into the policy cycle can increase policy effectiveness.

What

Learning the lessons from the past

The European Commission has been incorporating behavioural insights into policymaking since 2008. For instance, in 2009 the Commission recognised the behavioural bias of using defaults, which led to the adoption of a Consumer Rights Directive in 2011. Since 2012, with the availability of a framework contract for the provision of behavioural studies, 19 studies have been carried out, in as many as ten different policy areas. This project aims at identifying possible bottlenecks and elements of success in the application of behavioural insights to policymaking The EU Policy Lab will take stock of the past experience in this field and of the existing behavioural insights capacity in Brussels, Ispra and Seville. This stocktaking will allow the EU Policy Lab to better engage with the different Commission services and more effectively design future work in the field.

How

Workshops, training, bilateral meetings and participatory sessions with key actors

The EU Policy Lab organises thematic workshops with different Commission services to tackle specific policy issues from a behavioural perspective. In addition, specific training modules will be offered starting from 2016. Finally, the EU Policy Lab will engage in bilateral meetings with the relevant Commission services to identify a possible behavioural elements (e.g., information overload) and work together to find effective behavioural solutions (e.g., simplification) for specific policy interventions.

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