Impact assessments and fundamental rights protection in EU law

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Series Details Vol.31, No.3, June 2006, p316-341
Publication Date June 2006
ISSN 0307-5400
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Integrated impact assessments have become an increasingly important part of the Commission's legislative drafting and policy preparation process since 2002. Although structured around economic, social and environmental impacts, fundamental rights are increasingly seen as a significant element to be addressed in these Integrated Impact Assessments. The link between the IIA framework and fundamental rights protection also formed an important part of the Commission's strategy for fundamental rights protection in the legislative process published in May 2005. This article examines and evaluates these developments. Although potentially helpful if conducted rigorously and to the highest standards, it raises certain concerns around the practical operation of the framework, and questions the extent to which the IIA process as it is now, grounded in the concern for better regulation and sustainable development, may make a useful contribution to fundamental rights protection without some further thought about how best to adapt and develop it to achieve this aim.

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