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Ex-ante Impact Assessments (IA) in the European Commission — an overview

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Sustainability Impact Assessment of Land Use Changes

Abstract

Ex-ante Impact Assessment (IA) was officially introduced into European Commission (EC) policy making in 2002. It is understood as a formal procedure to analyse potential effects of new policies before their adoption. The two main drivers behind this EC initiative are the EU Sustainable Development Strategy and the Better Regulation agenda. IA is carried out on policy level by the Secretariat General of the EC.

In parallel, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) exist. They are based at EC Directorate of Environment. EIA analysis impacts of project on the environment and SEA is concerned with impacts of plans and programmes mainly on the environment.

The EU project SENSOR develops ex-ante Sustainability Impact Assessment Tools (SIAT) to support decision making on European land use and environmental policies. The project relates directly to the efforts of the EC, on behalf of the European Union (EU), to integrate all single sector policy assessment into one impact assessment procedure.

This article outlines the historical background of impact assessment and it presents the three IA procedures simultaneously in use by the EC, their level and scope. It aims to provide the reader with a classification helping to identify the role of IA tools as developed in SENSOR for EC decision making.

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Tscherning, K., König, H., Schößer, B., Helming, K., Sieber, S. (2008). Ex-ante Impact Assessments (IA) in the European Commission — an overview. In: Helming, K., Pérez-Soba, M., Tabbush, P. (eds) Sustainability Impact Assessment of Land Use Changes. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-78648-1_3

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