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Impact assessment

Impact assessment is an instrument aimed at ex-ante appraisal of policy options and selecting the most viable solution. When conducting impact assessment we:

  • Identify the issue at stake and explain why an intervention is necessary. We analyse the extent of the problem, identify the stakeholders and discuss the underlying causes. At this stage we also develop a baseline scenario.
  • List policy objectives that correspond to the problem and its root causes. The objectives can range from general to specific or operational. The objectives must take into consideration the existing policies and strategies, such as Europe 2020 strategy and others.
  • Define the main policy options, distinguishing between options for policy substance and options for delivery mechanisms (for example, regulatory or non-regulatory measures).
  • Examine the advantages and disadvantages of each option, synergies and trade-offs. We identify economic, social and environmental impacts and discuss under what conditions they are likely to occur. We assess the impacts against the baseline in qualitative, quantitative and monetary terms. An impact assessment may also examine the administrative burden created by specific policy options.
  • Present a comparison of various options after weighing the positive and negative impacts based on the criteria linked to the objectives. This helps to identify the preferred option.
  • Provide suggestions for monitoring and evaluation arrangements, including proposals for key indicators for measuring change.
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