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A Causal Mapping Simulation for Scenario Planning and Impact Assessment in Public Policy Problems: The Case of EU 2030 Climate and Energy Framework
The ultimate objective of studying, modeling and analyzing policy problems is to incorporate the newest management technologies in the public policy decision-making in a meaningful and practically feasible way that adds significant value to the process. Simulation techniques can support the policy decision process by allowing empirical evaluation of the system dynamics present in the policy situation at hand. This paper presents a decision support simulation model for the European Union (EU) Climate and Energy targets 2030 as a case study of public policy decision making on the EU level. The simulation model is based on the problem structuring or framing by derivation of a system dynamics model from verbal descriptions of the problem, the graphical repre-sentation and analysis of change scenarios using the ‘Causal Mapping and Situation Formulation’ method. This approach supports the analysis of qualitative and quantitative information in order to facilitate both the conceptualization and formulation stages of the system modeling process. The resulting model, which is simply a topology of quantified causal dependencies among the problem key variables, can be used to simulate the transfer of change. The aim of simulation herein is to apply cognitive strategic thinking and scenario-based planning in a public policy problem situation in order to design alternative options and provide foresight or ex-ante impact assessment in terms of economic, social, environmental and other impacts.