Impact assessment is designed to help in structuring and developing policies. It identifies and assesses the problem at stake and the objectives pursued. It helps to identify the main options for achieving the objectives and analyses their likely impacts in the economic, environmental and social fields. It outlines advantages and disadvantages of each option and examines possible synergies and trade-offs.
It consists of a set of logical steps to help structure the preparation of Commission proposals. By testing the need for intervention at the EU level and by examining the potential impacts of a range of policy options, it should lead to improvements and simplification of the regulatory environment.
Impact assessment is an aid to political decision-making, not a substitute for it. The impact assessment informs the political decision-makers of the likely impacts of proposed measures to tackle an identified problem, but leaves it to them to decide if and how to proceed.
Commission Guidelines on Impact Assessment
The Commission has its internal Guidelines for impact assessment. The most recent Guidelines were published in January 2009.
Our Impact Assessments
Every year DG Enterprise and Industry is responsible for drafting a number of impact assessments. Copies of past impact assessments can be found here.
Further details regarding Impact Assessment can be found on the Secretariat General website.