Reconciling participatory and evidence-based policymaking in the EU Better Regulation policy: mission (im)possible?

Adriana Bunea, Joe Chrisp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


Modern systems of governance are increasingly adopting measures aimed at fostering public participation in policymaking, while embedding decisions in scientific evidence under the label of Better Regulation policy. Existing research identifies tensions between participatory and evidence-based approaches. This prompts questions about one of the most ambitious reforms to combine and enhance participatory and evidence-based tools of policymaking, initiated by the European Commission in 2016. We assess the extent to which this reform successfully combined and expanded the participatory layer of supranational policymaking while also strengthening its evidence-based credentials by analysing stakeholders’ evaluations. We find that stakeholders assess both sets of measures as part of a single, integrated dimension. Participatory measures received slightly better appraisals and were better known, but both sets of measures were evaluated positively and there are no significant differences in evaluations across stakeholder categories. This points to the complementarity of measures from a stakeholder perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-750
JournalJournal of European Integration
Issue number5
Early online date11 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Raimondas Ibenskas and the anonymous referees for their constructive and helpful feedback. During the work on the revision and resubmission stage of the manuscript, Adriana Bunea was a Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute, in the SPS Department. This fellowship is gratefully acknowledged.


  • Better Regulation policy
  • European Commission
  • participatory and evidence-based policymaking
  • regulatory governance
  • stakeholder consultations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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