In your analysis of impacts, you should address the likely economic, social and environmental impacts – both intended and unintended – for each option, as well as potential trade-offs and synergies.
The aim of this analysis is to provide clear information on the impacts of the policy options as a basis for comparing them both against one other and against the status quo, and possibly for ranking them in relation to clearly identified evaluation criteria.
In presenting the impacts of different policy options the IA should assess the impacts of policy options as net changes compared to the ‘no policy change’/baseline. You should show how each policy option differs from the baseline scenario, in terms of their characteristics and of the results that they would produce. The more quantification you can provide, the more convincing the analysis will generally be.
You should keep in mind that the credibility of an IA depends to a large extent on providing results that are based on reliable data and robust analysis, and which are transparent and understandable to non-specialists. This exercise will usually require an inference from the collected data, either formally through statistical analysis or model runs, or more informally by drawing on an appropriate analogy with measured impact or activities. This assessment should go beyond the immediate and desired aspects (the direct effects) and take account of indirect effects such as side-effects, knock-on effects in other segments of the economy and crowding out or other offsetting effects in the relevant sector(s).
A variety of tools and models is available for assessing impacts. The Commission has also developed a set of indicators to monitor the implementation of the EU sustainable development strategy. In assessing impacts it is recommended that you use these indicators if they are relevant for the proposal.
The analysis of impacts consists of three major steps:
- Identifying impacts and assessing their relative importance
- Assessment of impacts: Qualitative analysis
- Assessment of impacts: Quantitative analysis