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Development of policy options

Once you have defined the objectives, the next phase of the IA exercise is to establish which options and delivery mechanisms are most likely to achieve those objectives.Considering a wide range of policy options will force you to think ‘out of the box’, and also provides greater transparency. It is a way to show policy-makers and stakeholders that alternative options that they may prefer have been analysed seriously, and to explain why they were not pursued. It makes it easier to explain the logic behind the proposed choices and to avoid unnecessary discussions of options that will not help to achieve the objectives.

Policy options must be closely linked both to the causes of the problem and to the objectives. You should define the appropriate level of ambition for the options in the light of constraints such as compliance costs or considerations of proportionality. You also need to identify the appropriate policy instrument (legal acts, legal acts of Member States, self-regulation, co-regulation and economic incentives). These instruments can of course be combined in a package, and/or co-ordinated with Member State action.

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