Assessing whether the objectives are consistent with other EU policies and horizontal objectives

The objectives you set constitute the link between the problem description and the policy options that you will identify, assess and compare.

  • Link objectives with your problem analysis: be sure that your objectives are directly related and proportionate to the problem and its root causes.
  • Link objectives with the identification of policy options: this is an iterative process in which you revise your objectives and define your policy options more clearly. You cannot identify policy options without having a clear idea of the objectives, but equally you cannot lay down detailed objectives without taking into account the specificities of various policy options.
  • Link objectives with the assessment and comparison of policy options: the criteria that you should use when comparing the policy options are closely linked to the objectives. These criteria, ‘effectiveness’, ‘efficiency’ and ‘consistency’, play a role already at the initial screening of ‘candidate’ policy options.
  • Link objectives with your future monitoring and evaluation activities: without clear objectives you cannot monitor and evaluate whether your policy is on track. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-dependent) objectives are needed to define good indicators. This in turn will allow you to monitor progress and evaluate the extent to which you have achieved your objectives.