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Smart regulation

Business Impact Assessment

In 2002 the Commission introduced a new method of integrated impact assessment, which built on and replaced the previous single-sector assessments, including the Business Impact Assessment (BIA) developed by DG Enterprise.

The Business Impact Assessment system

The Business Impact Assessment (BIA) system was established in 1986 to ensure that policy-makers were aware of the impact that their proposals would have on businesses. In particular, the Business Impact Assessment system was designed to ensure that burdens on businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, were kept to a minimum.

While the BIA system was in many cases useful, it did have some shortcomings. These were identified and analysed in the Business Impact Assessment pilot project, which ran between September 2000 and February 2002. The final BIA pilot project report made a number of recommendations regarding how best to analyse the impacts on business, and its conclusions ultimately fed into the development of the current integrated impact assessment approach.

Pilot project on Business Impact Assessment

The Business Impact Assessment pilot project focused on three major elements of the impact assessment process, namely:

  • external consultation
  • economic analysis
  • organisational structures.

The aim of the BIA pilot project was to explore ways to better assess the impacts of legislative proposals on business, and to contribute to the elaboration of a new, coherent impact assessment български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) method in the Commission, integrating environmental, social and economic impacts - including business impacts.

A number of auxiliary projects operated alongside the BIA pilot project, such as the Best Procedure Project on impact assessment in EU Member States and a study on regulatory impact analysis pdf - 98 KB [98 KB] by the European Policy Centre.

The final conclusions of the pilot were presented and discussed at a workshop on 5 March 2002, bringing together over 70 participants from the Commission, the European Parliament, Member States, stakeholder groups and academia.

Business Impact Assessment - Best procedure project report: impact assessment in the Member States

In conjunction with the work of the BIA pilot project, a study of Business Impact Assessments best practices among the Member States was also carried out in 2001. A workshop was held, attended by representatives from the Member States, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee as well as by experts from Member States, the OECD and the US.

The outcome of this workshop provided input to the Pilot Project on Business Impact Assessment as well as to the broader discussions on regulatory quality and simplification.

Best Procedure Workshop on Business Impact Assessment in Member States
Brussels, 26 June 2001

  1. Workshop documentation
  1. Workshop presentations
  1. Links and documents from Member States

The European Commission's response to BEST (The "Action Plan to Promote Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness"):

  • Directory of measures in favour of entrepreneurship and competitiveness / Improve Public Administration / Better Regulation/Administration
  • Best Procedure Project - Business Impact Assessment
  • OECD

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