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Policy evaluation

The European Commission conducts integrated evaluations of its trade negotiations. 

Trade topics
  • Trade policy

Evaluation of trade negotiations

The European Commission carries out four types of integrated evaluations during the life of a trade negotiation.

  • Impact assessments;
  • Sustainability Impact Assessments;
  • Economic Analysis of the Negotiated Outcome, and;
  • Ex post evaluations

Before: Impact assessments

In the lead-up to negotiations, the Commission carries out an analysis of the potential effects created by a new trade deal. The Impact Assessment (IA) analyses likely economic, social, environmental and, whenever relevant, human rights impacts and presents them in a single document.

The IA report then helps the Commission and the governments of EU member states to decide whether to approve the launch of a new trade negotiation.

More on Impact Assessments

During: Sustainability Impact Assessments

During the trade negotiations, a Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) is carried out to provide the Commission with a more in-depth analysis of the potential economic, social, human rights, and environmental impacts of the ongoing negotiations. SIAs are also an opportunity for interested parties in both the EU and in the partner countries to share their views with negotiators.

SIAs are carried out by independent consultants.

More on Sustainability Impact Assessments

After: Economic Analysis of the Negotiated Outcome

Once negotiations of the quantifiable elements of the agreement are finalised, the Commission uses tariff dismantling schedules and information on non-tariff barrier reductions to assess the economic impact of what has been agreed. This Economic Analysis of the Negotiated Outcome (EANO) helps the Council, the European Parliament and eventually legislative bodies in member states with their subsequent approval processes.

View recent Economic Analyses of the Negotiated Outcome

Later: Ex post evaluations

After the trade deal has been implemented and enough time has passed to gather an adequate amount of evidence, the Commission will begin an ex post evaluation into the effects of the agreement between the EU and the partner country or region.

The results of this evaluation will allow the Commission to understand whether the trade agreement has worked as expected in achieving its objectives. This evaluation can then be used to improve future trade deals.

View recent Ex post evaluations

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