The European Parliament’s Approach to Impact Assessment as presented in the Activity Report

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Over the past few years the European Parliament has been interested in the Better Law-Making agenda of the European Union as revealed by the Niebler Report which advises to guarantee independent impact assessment.

In 2012 the Parliament’s Bureau established two units: the “Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit” (which undertakes an initial appraisal of all significant Commission impact assessments) and the “European Added Value Unit” (which analyses the potential benefit of future actions by the European Union). They are actually located in the new Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (DG EPRS) which provides comprehensive research and analytical support for EP members in the effort to strengthen the Parliament’s capacity for oversight of the Executive.

The work carried out by the two units between June 2012 and June 2014 is presented in the recent Activity Report.

One of the policy recommendation suggested by the report is to consider the EU legislative process as a cycle; in particular, impact assessment should be applied throughout the policy cycle, involving stakeholder consultation, impact assessment on draft proposals from the European Commission (amendment and enactment of law by the Parliament and Council of Ministers), transposition, implementation and enforcement of the legislation enacted and evaluation of the outcome.

Paola Coletti

Photo credits: European Parliament Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0