During the Society on Benefit-Cost Analysis European Conference, CSIL organised a panel on norms and standards in CBA, with contributions from Witold Willak (European Commission), Doramas Jorge-Calderón (European Investment Bank), Linas Jasiukevičius (CPVA), Massimo Florio (University of Milan), and Jincheng Ni (France Stratégie – Services du Premier Ministre).
Speakers presented different national and EU guidelines for CBA and their related legislative and institutional framework. They shared lessons on developing appraisal capacities and ensuring that CBA is enforced in the decision-making process.
Our take-home messages from the panel suggest that the experiences of EU and national (Lithuania and France) institutions point to the necessity to have a sound project appraisal and CBA framework to ensure the selection of projects the most desirable for the community. The challenge for any system is to strike a balance between standardisation (and simplification) and flexibility. There is not a quick fix, but good practices around Europe exist. For instance, establishing a methodological and competence centre that oversees and promotes the national appraisal methodological framework and the creation of a pool of independent counter experts to give opinions on the socio-economic assessments for large projects before engaging in the project.