From November 2021 to May 2022, Public Strategy for Sustainable Development is carrying out
the project Peer to Peer for Sustainable Impact Assessment (P2P for SIA), with the aim
of supporting the mainstreaming of environmental sustainability into the Regulatory Impact
Assessment (RIA) systems/schemes of EU Member States, through peer to peer support. The
project is funded by European Environment Initiative (EURENI) of the German Ministry for the
Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
The Sustainable Development Goals are central in all EU policymaking…
That is why, for the European Commission, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at
the heart of EU policymaking. The SDGs are integrated in the annual European Semester process
of economic governance, and environmental sustainability is one of the four priority areas of the
EU’s Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy (ASGS).
… and this requires mapping positive and negative impacts on sustainability from the start
To make all policies and laws contribute to sustainable development, it is essential to understand
the positive impacts and synergies as well as negative impacts and trade-offs, even in the very
early stages of policy preparation. Using ex ante RIA in the development of new laws, policies or
programmes is an excellent way to mainstream environmental sustainability and the SDGs as a
whole in all policymaking. This is a much broader scope than minimising burdens for businesses,
which is what classical ‘Regulatory Impact Assessments’ (RIA) are used for.
The EU and some Member States have shown that it can be done, but more countries could join…
The European Commission has recently taken steps to further integrate the SDGs into its better
regulation agenda and RIA processes. This is a great opportunity to raise the bar and pick up the
pace also at national level, and improve the sustainability of national IAs. Some EU Member States
have already established advanced practices for integrating aspects of sustainability into their RIA
systems. In doing this, countries are better able to judge the environmental, economic and social
impacts of various policy options, allowing for improved decision-making and better societal
outcomes. However, in many Member States, RIAs still lack a thorough environmental dimension,
and social impacts are usually also weaker than economic impacts. With environmental
challenges, such as climate change, resource efficiency and biodiversity loss high on the political
agenda in the EU and in many Member States, scrutinising the environmental sustainability of
political decisions is of urgent importance. In this situation, there is huge potential for countries
that are lagging behind to improve the quality of their policymaking processes by learning from
frontrunners through peer-to-peer exchange.
This project supports the sustainability of national RIAs by taking stock and accelerated learning through peer 2 peer workshops…
The project starts with the preparation of a stocktaking report detailing the current state of the
integration of environmental sustainability in RIAs in all EU Member States with regards to basic
features such as: What mechanisms are in place? Who does what? How/what approaches?
Points of excellence? The stocktaking will be based on previous studies and a survey, and will
also be complemented by interviews with experts from the Member States.
This will be followed by a series of 3 peer-learning workshops with government experts from
around 6 Member States. The half-day online workshops are scheduled to occur from January to
April 2022. We encourage Member States with advanced experience in environmental
sustainability mainstreaming, as well as those with a huge potential to learn from peer-to-peer
exchange, to participate in these workshops. In one of the workshops, stakeholders from civil
society and private sector will be invited to join.
… followed by conclusions, key lessons learned, and recommendations for next steps in mainstreaming the SDGs in RIA in all EU countries
The stocktaking, and the findings of the peer learning process, co-created with the participating
Member States, will be summarized in a final report, together with recommendations about how
to further enhance the mainstreaming of environmental sustainability in RIAs. The report will be
presented in a final conference in May 2022.