Council use of impact assessments

Question

Could the Council list the impact assessments it has conducted in accordance with the 2005 interinstitutional common approach to impact assessment (Council Ref. 14901/05), in which each institution was deemed to be responsible for assessing its own proposals/modifications [paragraph 3] and the Council (and Parliament) undertook to carry out impact assessments when they consider it appropriate and necessary for the legislative process, prior to the adoption of any substantive amendment [paragraph 14]? If this list is short, could the Council please explain why?

Answer

As explained in the first annual report on impact assessment within the Council, the Council’s work on impact assessment is focused primarily on ensuring a systematic and comprehensive examination of Commission impact assessments at an early stage of discussion of a legislative proposal at expert level. These examinations, and a more active sharing of information on national impact assessments, are aimed at ensuring the effective use of impact assessments in the legislative work of the Council. A standard checklist is to be used by all Working Parties for the purpose of examining Commission impact assessments. An annual monitoring process has been established and the next annual report, in June 2015, will evaluate the process and allow for consideration of further improvements.

Impact assessments on the Council’s substantive amendments have been carried out in respect of the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators and repealing Directive 91/157/EEC (Directive 2006/66/EC) and in respect of the Council Directive on the control of potato cyst nematodes and repealing Directive 69/465/EEC (Directive 2007/33/EC).

Considerations regarding the assessment of substantive amendments were outlined in the 2013 report on impact assessment within the Council and subsequent guidance from the General Secretariat of the Council. These include the lack of definition of what constitutes a substantive amendment, potential difficulties with reconciling the principle of avoiding undue delays in the legislative process with the commitment to undertake such impact assessments, lack of consensus on the means by which such impact assessment would be undertaken, lack of an interinstitutional agreement on the handling of substantive amendments and Council budget-related limitations.

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