EU Science Hub

Impact assessment

All Commission policy proposals with potentially significant impact are required to be accompanied by an assessment of environmental, social and economic impacts. Impact assessments provide evidence for political decision-makers on the advantages and disadvantages of possible policy options. The JRC supports impact assessments with scientific-technical evidence.

In its work the JRC focuses on quantitative modelling (which serves to compare policy options), including sensitivity analysis (which establish how variations in key parameters affect the impact of a specific measure).



The JRC models encompass a variety of approaches, such as simulation, optimisation, economic estimation, life-cycle analysis, input-output analysis and process flow analysis. The models are being used in policy-making for:

  • Analysis of policy options including ex-ante Impact Assessments;

Support in preparing international negotiations (e.g. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC, the climate convention or international trade negotiations);

  • Ad hoc model runs for single sector issues (e.g. crop/flood/draught predictions).


Within its portfolio of models, the JRC focusses on four priority areas in line with the EU2020 strategy and the recent economic crisis: the economic and monetary union, the low-carbon economy, regional policies, agriculture and environment.

The models range from macro- and micro-economic to techno-economic and biophysical/technical ones. In addition to macro-economic models, the JRC uses sector-specific economic models that cover agriculture, energy, transport, trade and taxation.

For further information, please check Impact Assessment - European Commission.