A new report, published today by the JRC and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), proposes tools to help practitioners, policy makers and scientists identify and manage the spillover effects and transboundary impacts of policies.
These tools also aim to support the design of long-term recovery strategies by implementing the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The report calls for building national monitoring and statistical capacity to identify, analyse and integrate policy synergies and trade-offs.
The approaches proposed in ‘Understanding the Spillovers and Transboundary Impacts of Public Policies’ include:
- Sustainable Development Goals impact assessments;
- Using tools like the European Platform on Life Cycle Assessment to consider the entire supply chain of products;
- Using multi-region, multi-sector simulation models (such as the MAGNET model, co-developed by the JRC) to assess different policy scenarios.
Spillover effects and transboundary impacts in a global world
In today’s increasingly interconnected world, public policy decisions taken in one sector or country can have repercussions in other sectors and regions, and hamper progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
That is why the enhancement of Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD) has been identified as a crucial means of implementation of the SDGs. Promoting PCSD calls for addressing those spill over effects and transboundary impacts in a systematic way.
This has been evident during the coronavirus pandemic, where measures taken by one country to contain the COVID-19 virus negatively affected both the domestic economy and the economies of other countries.
For example, disruptions in the global supply chain and limited movement of people across borders trigger negative local impacts. This is particularly true for those countries that depend heavily on tourism (such as island countries), inflows of remittances, or goods imports.
The magnitude of the crisis has highlighted the need for collective action, regulatory cooperation and coordinated policy responses to tackle transboundary challenges in the short and long term.
The need for a coordinated response
The report’s authors note the current lack of coordination across countries as well as in policies and the evaluation mechanisms established by countries with regard to these impacts.
The great complexity of the global system, coupled with methodological and data gaps, makes it difficult to estimate the domino effects between the socio-economic and environmental dimensions, and to manage interlinkages and unexpected transboundary impacts.
The tools suggested in this new report are designed to fill these gaps. By offering a comprehensive framework of the different governance and analytical tools to identify and manage spillover and transboundary effects, the report can help governments to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable and resilient global future.
The report will be presented today at a joint online event with the OECD.
Sustainable development is a core principle of the Treaty on European Union and a priority objective for the Union’s internal and external policies. The United Nations 2030 Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) intended to apply universally to all countries.
It is a commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve a sustainable world by 2030 and beyond, with human well-being and a healthy planet at its core. The EU and its Member States are determined to deliver on the SDGs, in Europe and across the world.
The JRC supports these objectives through, for instance, an analysis of the relationships between technological change, scientific developments, the environment, the economy and policy approaches.
The JRC also works with other Commission services, as well as with international organisations like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to share knowledge and expertise. This report is one result of such collaboration.
- Publication date
- 8 April 2021