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Policy evaluation

Three key evaluation tools

The European Commission carries out three types of integrated evaluations during the life of a trade negotiation.

Impact assessments

In the lead-up to negotiations the Commission carries out an analysis of the potential effects created by a new trade deal.  The Impact Assessment (IA) analyses likely economic, social, environmental and, whenever relevant, human rights impacts and presents them in a single document.

The IA report then helps the European Commission and the governments of the EU member states decide on whether to approve the launch of a new trade negotiation.

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Sustainability Impact Assessments

During the negotiations, a Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) is carried out to provide the Commission with a more in-depth analysis of the potential economic, social, human rights, and environmental impacts of ongoing trade negotiations. SIAs are also an opportunity for interested parties in both the EU and the partner countries to share their views with negotiators.

SIAs are carried out by independent consultants.

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Ex post evaluations

After the trade deal has been implemented and enough time has passed to gather an adequate amount of evidence the Commission will begin an ex post evaluation into the effects of the agreement between the EU and the partner country or region.

The results of this evaluation will allow the Commission to understand whether the trade agreement has worked as expected in achieving its objectives. This evaluation can then be used to improve future trade deals.

View recent Ex post evaluations