Report on perceived policy needs and decision contexts

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani | published 7th Jun 2012 | last updated 22nd Feb 2023


Adaptation to climate change is a new challenge for existing institutions and decision-making processes. In order to assess what form this challenge takes for decision-makers, we conducted interviews and a policy review to determine the perceived policy needs in Austria, Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom. In each country, interviews are conducted at the national level and the sub-national (state) level if the national level is not sufficiently active in adaptation planning yet. We focus on general adaptation policy as well as specific sectors for each country, in line with the distribution of MEDIATION case studies. Different countries are at different stages of developing adaptation policy, but the underlying needs are similar across them. We group the needs into nine categories: inter-agency coordination, multi-level governance, mainstreaming, awareness-raising, coping with uncertainty, research needs, tools and information access, financial and human resources, and political commitment. We also look at suggestions for the EU's role in coordinating adaptation policy.


Stefan Pfenninger, Susanne Hanger, Magali Dreyfus, Anna Dubel, Nuria Hernández-Mora, Paloma Esteve, Consuelo Varela-Ortega, Paul Watkiss and Anthony Patt

This research was undertaken as part of the Integrated Project called ‘MEDIATION: Methodology for Effective Decision-making on Impacts and Adaptation. This project is funded by the European Commission, FP7 under contract number 244012.