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05 Feb 2015

Council agrees on new rules for European statistics

The Council approved an agreement reached with the European Parliament on new rules for ensuring the quality and reliability of EU statistics. The new rules amend regulation 223/2009, and aim at helping policymakers to take decisions on the basis of better statistics.

The demand for credible statistics and reliable data has increased both due to recent economic developments and the enhanced economic policy coordination introduced at EU level since 2011.

The draft regulation strengthens governance and professional independence of the European statistical system (ESS- a partnership between Eurostat and national statistical institutes (NSIs)).

Amongst other issues, heads of NSIs  - and similarly the Director General of Eurostat - have the sole responsibility for deciding on processes, statistical methods, standards and procedures, and on the content and timing of statistical releases and publications for all European statistics, according to the new regulation. Heads of NSIs must neither seek nor receive instructions from national governments or other bodies (or in the case of Eurostat neither from EU institutions or bodies), and rules for their appointment must be transparent and based only on professional criteria. Where necessary, statistical institutes should publish guidelines for ensuring quality statistics.

To ensure public trust in European statistics, member states and the Commission are required to establish "commitments on confidence in statistics". Each commitment on confidence will be monitored by the Commission on the basis of annual reports by the member state. The amending regulation also reinforces a legal framework on access to administrative records for the production of European statistics.

After agreement with the European Parliament and approval by the Council, the new regulation can now be adopted by Parliament at second reading.

For further information:

Council press release: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/01/european-statistics--rules-improve-data-policymakers/

Text of draft regulation on European statistics: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=ST%205109%202015%20INIT

European Statistical System: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/ess/latest-news

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