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Public online consultation on the Handbook for Sustainability Impact Assessment of EU trade negotiations

  • Policy field: Trade
  • Target group: All stakeholders
  • Closing Date: Completed - 14/08/2015

Objective of the consultation

Objective of the consultation

The European Commission is updating its 2006 Handbook on Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIA). A revised edition will be published later this year. We value stakeholder input and are therefore consulting stakeholders on the draft revised Handbook. The consultation period is from 30 April to 14 August 2015.


Sustainability impact assessments (SIAs) are a trade-specific tool developed for supporting trade negotiations. They provide the Commission with an in-depth analysis of the potential economic, social, human rights, and environmental consequences of ongoing trade negotiations and are a prime opportunity for stakeholders in both the EU and partner countries to share their views with negotiators.

The Commission published the first edition of the SIA Handbook in 2006. Many of the principles outlined in the first edition of the Handbook are still relevant, but experience over the years has led to improvements in how SIAs are carried out. Methods for carrying out impact analyses have evolved and improved over time, and many suggestions have been made by stakeholders. The time has come for a new, updated Handbook.

The SIA Handbook – 2nd edition incorporates all the improvements brought to the conduct of SIAs over the years and reinforces further several elements of the analysis. In particular, we have given careful attention to strengthening stakeholder consultation as well as to analysing in depth potential impacts on human rights.

This new edition of the Handbook sets out the main characteristics, objectives, and principles of the new generation of SIAs. It will be the main reference point for consultants, civil society and all interested stakeholders on how to conduct an SIA.

The revision of the 2006 Handbook should be seen in the wider context of the Commission's major on-going revision of its approach to better regulation, which includes specific new guidelines on impact assessment, evaluation and stakeholder consultation.

A meeting of the Civil Society Dialogue will be organised on 8 July to further discuss and exchange views with civil society on the proposed revision of the SIA Handbook. For details about how to take part in meetings of the Civil Society Dialogue, please visit:

The contributions received, together with the identification data of the respondent, will be published on the Internet, unless the respondent objects to publication of their identification data by clicking the appropriate box in the questionnaire (see section A in the questionnaire).

Note that this questionnaire must be completed and submitted within 90 minutes, otherwise the data will be lost. We suggest that you print the pdf document of the consultation, draft your replies separately and then copy/paste them into the respective fields in the questionnaire.

Direct link to the survey
Survey text with questionnaire in pdf
Draft SIA Handbook
Specific Privacy Statement

Guidelines on the analysis of human rights impacts in impact assessments of trade-related policy initiatives


For more information or additional questions please contact:





Additional contributions

Summary of responses