Policy Coherence

I think they mean “joined up thinking” without perverse incentives etc. Yeah, good luck with that…


“POLICY COHERENCE IS BECOMING AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT OBJECTIVE IN GOVERNANCE AND POLICY MAKING IN THE European Union (EU) and its member states (MSs). Demands for more coherent policy making are frequently made with reference to the ever-strengthening interconnections between different economic, social and environmental policy areas, and the need for smarter regulation. Coherence is pursued not only in relation to improving the environmental sustainability of policies, but also to enhance synergies and reduce conflicts between other interacting policy domains such as fiscal, regional development, welfare and public health policies. Attempts at better coherence have been manifested through, for example, the development of national sustainable development strategies globally, the impact assessment procedure in  the EU, and more recently various ‘road maps’ (CEC, 2011a, 2011d), the ‘better regulation’ agenda pursued by both the EU and the OECD (CEC, 2010), and a growing concern amongst policy makers for systems interaction such as between water, energy and land (see, e.g., WEF, 2009). The need for coherent policy is being acknowledged in an increasing number of official EU documents (e.g. CEC, 2011a, 2011b; EEA, 2010).
Although the objective of policy coherence has long been recognized, little research has been undertaken on the concept, what it means and how it can be assessed…. We define policy coherence as an attribute of policy that systematically reduces conflicts and promotes synergies between and within different policy areas to achieve the outcomes associated with jointly agreed policy objectives.”


Nilsson et al. 2012. Understanding Policy Coherence: Analytical Framework and Examples of Sector–Environment Policy Interactions in the EU Environmental Policy and Governance Vol. 22, pp. 395–423.


See also policy integration – and policy disintegration!!


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