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Impact assessments – Consultations

Before making proposals for new laws, the Commission carries out impact assessments and consults widely with interested parties.

When starting work on a new law or initiative, the Commission's first step is to assess the potential economic, social and environmental consequences through 'Impact assessments' which:

  • improve the quality of policy proposals by making policy developers responsible for assessing the impact of what they propose
  • provide an integrated analysis of costs and benefits as well as significant economic, social and/or environmental effects of new initiatives
  • ensure that relevant in-house expertise is used, together with input from stakeholders
  • help make initiatives consistent across policy areas
  • are both accountable and transparent (published online once the proposal they relate to has been adopted)
  • clarify why action (or no action) is necessary at EU level and why a particular response has been chosen.


Public consultations with stakeholders and interested parties are the main channel for collecting the evidence and opinions needed to produce proposals suitable for an EU made up 28 countries, to test out ideas and to build consensus.

At various stages of the law-making procedure, the Commission must:

  • consult interested parties such as non-governmental organisations, local authorities, representatives of industry and 'social partners' (representatives of trade unions and employers' organisations);
  • consult the European Economic and Social Committee (representing various socio-economic organisations in the EU) and the Committee of the Regions (representatives of local and regional authorities);
  • seek the opinions of national parliaments and governments.

Private individuals, businesses and organisations can participate in the consultation procedure via the public consultations website.

To be notified by e-mail on new roadmaps and/or public consultations, subscribe to Commission at work – Notifications or, if you represent an organization or are a self-employed individual carrying out activities influencing the policy and decision-making processes of the EU institutions, to the EU Transparency Register.

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