An Impact Assessment Steering Group, led by the Directorate-General for Justice, was established with a wide representation of services and departments of the Commission.
Five policy options were discarded at an early stage of the impact assessment process, as being either unrealistic, unable to meet the objectives or disproportionate.
A preliminary screening showed that this EU initiative should only cover selected priority areas, where obstacles to the functioning of the single market were most visible and likely to increase or where action at European level would add more value. The following four options were retained for further impact analysis:
Option 1: No further action at EU level (baseline scenario).
Option 2: EU Recommendation defining common accessibility requirements for the selected products and services, as well as, in the area of public procurement. This option addresses the problem in the baseline scenario by including accessibility requirements which may be applied to a defined list of products and services and to public procurement processes.
Option 3: EU Directive defining common accessibility requirements for the selected products and services, as well as, in the area of public procurement - applicable to the Member States when they regulate on accessibility. Under this option, Member States will not be required to legislate on accessibility requirements by a given date, but if they do or have already done so, they will have to follow EU rules in order to ensure consistency across the single market. All Member States will have to ensure the free circulation of accessible products and services, even if they do not regulate on accessibility, and to use common accessibility requirements in public procurement processes.
Option 4: EU Directive defining common accessibility requirements for the selected products and services, as well as in the area of public procurement – immediately applicable to all Member States. This option requires all Member States, including those which have not yet legislated on accessibility, to introduce new legislation on accessibility in accordance with the EU rules proposed. It fully harmonises accessibility rules across all Member States.
Regulatory intervention appeared to be the most efficient form of EU intervention for tackling current and expected problems in the functioning of the single market. A Directive in particular was found to be in line with the approach taken in previous Commission Communications and instruments and would ensure the unobstructed circulation of accessible products and services without going beyond what is necessary.
The Impact Assessment report, prepared by the European Commission services, received a positive opinion from the Impact Assessment Board after careful examination. The final version of the Impact Assessment incorporates the changes made to address the Impact Assessment Board's recommendations.