In the context of a consultation by the European Commission, CONCORD has made recommendations on how to improve the way the Commission delivers the Impact Assessments (IA) that it carries out in the early stage of preparing a new policy proposal. CONCORD sees Impact Assessments as a critical instrument for evidence based policymaking and for preventing the adoption of incoherent, development unfriendly policies within the EU system.

CONCORD’s recommendations are as follows:
• The new IA guidelines should make explicit reference to the EU’s obligation on Policy Coherence for Development, and development impacts should be made a 4th key section of the assessments, alongside the present economic, social and environmental assessments;
• CSOs’ inputs – both qualitative and quantitative – should be systematically included in all stages of the IA process, as a matter of ensuring diversified evidence and transparency;
• In order to be more objective and inclusive, the IA Board in charge of controling IA quality, should include other stakeholders outside of the European Commission, coming from the European Parliament, civil society and the business sector;
• The IA Board should include development specialists, in order to increase the development expertise on that body;
• The capacity of DG DEVCO and other Commission services to properly assess devleopment impacts should be reinforced.