Type of practice:
Jacob, K. (2010). Regulatory Impact Assessment and sustainable development: Towards a common framework. European Journal of Risk Regulation 3/2010: 276-280.
In theory, the ex-ante Impact Assessment (IA) of policies is a powerful tool for integrating concerns of sustainable development as well as other cross-cutting strategies into sectoral policy-making. However, there are only a few countries that explicitly refer to issues of sustainability in their guidelines for IA, notably the United Kingdom, Ireland, Switzerland and Belgium. Although all EU countries pursue the common goal to ensure coherence of new legislation with issues of sustainable development, the systems and practices of Sustainability Impact Assessment differ considerably. This article discusses some of the main features and related issues and draws conclusions for future directions in IA.