On 19 May 2016, the JRC launched a Competence Centre on Microeconomic Evaluation. This centre will be a network bringing together relevant policy and scientific expertise from across the Commission, and external experts from around the world, to perform impact evaluations.
The Competence Centre will enhance ex-post evaluations of EU policies by using existing micro-data, which allow analyse the social impact of EU policies on individuals, and in small geographical areas: something which is not easy to accomplish with qualitative or aggregate analysis alone. The results will feed into the Commission policy-making process, an in particular into the Better Regulation agenda, the European Semester and the effective targeting of the European Structural Investment Funds.
The Competence Centre will serve as a focal point of reference to support policy-making across a wide range of areas of impact evaluation of EU policies, by providing advice on data collection and evaluation design, capacity building on counterfactual methods, micro-econometric analysis and counterfactual impact evaluation. It will also provide infrastructure on evaluation knowledge management, in the form of (micro)-data as well as evaluations banks.
The Competence Centre was launched during a dedicated event, opened by JRC Director-General, Vladimir Šucha, with Jean-Eric Paquet, Deputy Secretary-General and Ann Mettler, Head of the European Political Strategy Centre.
External speakers, including Laura van Geest, Director of CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis and Klaus F. Zimmermann from Bonn Graduate School of Economics and Harvard University, discussed the practices of policy impact evaluation outside the European Commission, in a panel moderated by Maive Rute, JRC Deputy Director-General.
This is the second Competence Centre to be launched by the JRC following the Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards launched in February 2016.