Consulting those who will be affected by a new policy or initiative and those who will implement it is a Treaty obligation. It is an essential tool for producing high quality and credible policy proposals. Consultation helps to ensure that policies are effective and efficient, and it increases the legitimacy of EU action from the point of view of stakeholders and citizens.Consulation of interested parties must follow the Commission's minimum standards. You should:
- plan your consultations early
- ensure that you engage all affected stakeholders, using the most appropriate timing, format and tools to reach them
- ensure that stakeholders can comment on a clear problem definition, subsidiarity analysis, description of the possible options and their impacts
- maintain contact with stakeholders throughout the process and provide feedback
- analyse stakeholders' contributions for the decision-making process and report fully in the IA report on how the input was used.