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Sustainability Impact Assessments

The Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) is a DG Trade-specific tool for supporting major trade negotiations. SIAs provide the Commission with an in-depth analysis of the potential economic, social, human rights, and environmental impacts of ongoing trade negotiations.

These assessments are an opportunity for stakeholders in both the EU and in the partner countries to share their views with negotiators.

SIAs have several purposes, including:

  • feeding information into and helping steer the negotiations
  • assessing the changes that are likely to be caused by a trade agreement
  • helping to identify possible trade-offs
  • ensuring that the related policy choices are optimised

SIAs contribute to sound, evidence-based and transparent trade negotiations.

In the first tab you can access all the SIA reports ever published and the respective Commission position paper in response to the SIA, while on the second tab you can learn more about the methodological framework for SIAs.

Ongoing assessments

SIA in support of negotiations of an investment agreement between the European Union and the People's Republic of China

More information about SIA - China and how to contribute to it

Reports

Terms of Reference - October 2015

SIA in support of negotiations of a plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement

More information about SIA - TiSA and how to contribute to it

Reports

Terms of Reference - May 2013

Completed assessments

SIA in support of negotiations of a comprehensive trade and investment agreement between the European Union and the United States of America

More information about SIA - TTIP

Position Paper
Reports

Terms of Reference - July 2013

SIA in support of negotiations of an investment protection agreement between the European Union and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

More information about SIA - Myanmar

Position Paper
Reports

Terms of Reference - June 2015

SIA in support of negotiations of a comprehensive trade and investment agreement between the European Union and Japan

More information about SIA - Japan

Position Paper
Reports

Terms of Reference - February 2014

SIA in support of negotiations of an Environmental Goods Agreement (Green Goods Initiative)

More information about SIA - Green Goods

Position Paper
  • coming soon
Reports

Terms of Reference - September 2014

SIA in support of negotiations of a deep and comprehensive free trade area between the European Union and respectively Egypt and Jordan

Position Papers
Reports

Terms of Reference - July 2012

SIA in support of negotiations of a deep and comprehensive free trade area between the European Union and respectively Morocco and Tunisia

Position Papers
Reports

Terms of Reference - July 2012

SIA in support of negotiations of a deep and comprehensive free trade area between the European Union and the Republic of Armenia

Position Paper
Reports

Terms of Reference - June 2012

SIA in support of negotiations of a deep and comprehensive free trade area between the European Union and respectively Georgia and the Republic of Moldova

Position Paper
Reports

Terms of Reference - July 2011

SIA in support of negotiations of comprehensive economic & trade agreement between the European Union and Canada

Position Paper
Reports

Terms of reference - May 2010

Position Paper
Reports
Phase II
Phase I

Terms of reference - August 2008

Position Paper
Reports
Phase III
Phase II
Phase I

Terms of reference - October 2007

Position Paper
Reports
Phase III
Phase II
Phase I

Terms of Reference - October 2007

Position Paper
Reports
Phase III
Phase II
Phase I

Terms of Reference - September 2006

The lead Directorate General of the Commission for this Trade SIA is AIDCO.

Position Paper
Reports
Phase III
Phase II
Phase I

Terms of Reference - April 2003

Meetings with Civil Society

Development of a methodology for use in Phase Three Trade SIA studies of ongoing and projected WTO negotiations

Reports

Terms of Reference - March 2002

Position Paper
Reports

Terms of reference - May 2002

Meetings with Civil Society

Reports

Terms of Reference - December 2001

Meetings with Civil Society

Trade SIA on the sectoral assessment of the liberalisation of the food crops sector in WTO negotiations

Reports

Terms of Reference - March 2002

Trade SIA on the sectoral assessment of the liberalisation of the food crops sector in WTO negotiations

Reports

Terms of Reference - April 1999

How are the assessments carried out?

Sustainability Impact Assessment handbook

2014 Annual Activity Report

The European Commission published a second edition of the handbook for sustainability impact assessment in 2016.

It replaces the SIA handbookof 2006 and sets out the main characteristics, objectives and principles of the new generation of SIAs.

The handbook should be used alongside the Guidelines on the analysis of human rights impact in impact assessments of trade-related policy initiatives and the Better Regulation Guidelines

SIAs are independent assessments produced by external consultants and take place during trade negotiations.

Each SIA varies depending on the type of trade deal being negotiated, but generally consists of three phases: the inception report, the interim report and the final report.

In the inception phase the consultants propose:

  • the method to be used when examining the impact of the potential trade agreement
  • a list of stakeholders to be consulted
  • the economic sectors to be analysed

In the interim phase the consultants use their methodology to present the expected impacts of the trade deal. Stakeholders are invited to contribute through workshops, questionnaires, interviews, etc.

In the final phase the consultants refine their analyses and conclusions for the final report. This report must be understandable for all audiences, summarise their findings, and give recommendations to maximise the benefits of the proposed agreement and mitigate possible negative impacts.

All reports are released in draft form for feedback from stakeholders before being finalised. The Commission then prepares a position paper to give its views on the report and explain how the SIA conclusions have or will influence negotiations.

If you have a general enquiry about SIAs, please contact us.