DG Trade revises guidance on how to conduct Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIAs) of EU trade negotiations.
Sustainability impact assessments (SIAs) are a key tool for the conduct of sound and transparent trade negotiations. Taking place during the negotiations, they feed into the work of the negotiators as the negotiations evolve. They complement the impact assessment that the Commission carries out before starting the negotiations by allowing a more in-depth analysis of the potential economic, social, human rights and environmental impacts of the trade agreement under negotiation, as well as by facilitating a wider outreach to stakeholders in both the EU and partner countries.
The Commission has been carrying out SIAs on all negotiated trade agreements since 1999. This second edition of the SIA Handbook reflects the various improvements introduced in the conduct of SIAs in the light of experience. It takes account of stakeholders’ views over the years and guidance for better policy making in the Better Regulation agenda. It also reflects commitments made in the Trade for All communication to further reinforce the analyses carried out in support of trade negotiations, including an in-depth analysis of the impact on human rights and the importance of close dialogue with all relevant stakeholders.
The second edition sets out the main characteristics, objectives and principles of the new generation of SIAs.
In the words of Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, “It is now up to all of us – stakeholders, external experts and Commission – to work together to ensure that SIAs help produce a more responsible trade and investment policy for the EU.”