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Evaluating laws, policies and funding programmes

Evaluations assess the performance of an EU action; this could be a law, policy or programme. A fitness check is an evaluation of several related actions.

Why the Commission evaluates

The Commission evaluates if specific laws, policies and spending activities are fit for purpose and have delivered, at minimum cost, the desired changes to European businesses and citizens.

The evaluation findings help the Commission decide whether EU actions should be continued or changed.

Better regulation: why and how
REFIT - Making EU law simpler and less costly

Evaluation or fit​ness check

An evaluation assesses a specific EU law, policy or funding programme for:

  • effectiveness (whether the EU action reached its objectives)
  • efficiency (what are the costs and benefits)
  • relevance (whether it responds to stakeholders' needs)
  • coherence (how well it works with other actions)
  • EU added value (what are the benefits of acting at EU level)

A fitness check is a type of evaluation that assesses several related actions. It focuses on identifying how different laws, policies and programmes interact, any inconsistencies or synergies, and their collective impact.

Upcoming evaluations

These are communicated to the public via evaluation roadmaps, and are planned on a multi-annual basis.

Evaluation planning

How to contribute

Anyone can provide feedback on plans for evaluations and fitness checks and participate in public consultations on ongoing evaluations.

Contribute to law-making

Ensuring quality

The better regulation guidelines and accompanying toolbox (2015) provide common standards for quality when the Commission evaluates the performance of its actions.

Better regulation guidelines – Guidelines on evaluation: chapter 6
Better regulation toolbox – Evaluations and fitness checks: chapter 6

The Regulatory Scrutiny Board examines and issues opinions on the quality of major evaluations and fitness checks.

Regulatory Scrutiny Board

Evaluation results

The main findings of evaluations are summarised in staff working documents, which are published on EUR-Lex.

Other evaluations can be found in the EU bookshop. These include evaluation reports prepared for the Commission by external contractors and reports evaluating programmes and policies internally. 
EU bookshop

All studies planned or already conducted on behalf of the EU institutions and bodies can be found in the Inter-institutional Database of Studies.

Inter-institutional Database of Studies