Most Commission initiatives must comply with official impact assessment
guidelines, which also cover health impacts. They require the relevant
Commission departments to be closely involved in planning initiatives and
offer further techniques for integrating health concerns.
The Commission also works with outside experts – in government and
academia – to further improve its understanding of how EU action impacts
health and health systems. Key interests are how these impacts could be
determined and measured and how they can be taken into account.
Impact assessment guidelines
Health is incorporated in the Commission’s
impact assessment guidelines, backed up by methodologies for health impact
assessment (HIA) developed through the public health programme. This has three
pillars – health is particularly mentioned under the social and environmental
Health Impact Assessment (HIA)
From 2001 to 2004, the Commission financed a
project to provide an in-depth analysis of HIA.
The main result is a
HIA guide which gives details of specific health impacts and assessment
procedures and methods.
Health Systems Impact Assessment (HSIA)
In 2007, a Member State working group on health impact assessment and health
systems has developed a HSIA methodology and an online
EU Health Systems Impact Assessment tool for applying to all EU
Other EU projects on Health Impact Assessment
Guidance on assessing social impacts
The Guidance for
assessing social impacts is an additional tool for policy makers that
includes detailed advice on assessing health impacts of EU policies.