a1 Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe, Halle (Saale), Germany
a2 Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Berlin, Germany
a3 Cemagref, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Ex-ante impact assessment of agricultural, environmental, and rural policies has become an integral part of political decision-making processes in the European Union. While a variety of agri-environmental modelling tools exists, ex-ante policy assessment tools capturing the institutional dimension are rare and need to be improved. In this paper, we introduce a standardized procedure for ex-ante modelling institutional aspects for policy implementation: the ‘Procedure for Institutional Compatibility Assessment’ (PICA). PICA has been designed as an explorative and flexible, yet formalized methodology that enables policy-makers to identify, at an early stage, potential institutional incompatibilities. After relating PICA to relevant approaches for policy assessment, we elaborate on its four distinct steps, use a core element of the EU Nitrate Directive to illustrate its function, and then provide model validation by means of a test case.
We would like to thank colleagues at the Division of Resource Economics at Humboldt University of Berlin and at the Cemagref in Clermont-Ferrand for their extensive and helpful comments. We also thank two anonymous referees and the editor Geoff Hodgson for their suggestions. This work has been conducted in the frame of the SEAMLESS project. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of this project by the European Union within the 6th Framework Program, Project no. 010036.