European statistics

European statistics

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European statistics


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

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European statistics

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on European statistics and repealing Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1101/2008 on the transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality to the Statistical Office of the European Communities, Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 on Community Statistics, and Council Decision 89/382/EEC, Euratom establishing a Committee on the Statistical Programmes of the European Communities (Text with relevance for the EEA and for Switzerland).


This Regulation aims to establish a legal framework for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics in compliance with the following principles:

  • professional independence;
  • impartiality;
  • objectivity;
  • reliability;
  • statistical confidentiality;
  • cost effectiveness.

How is statistical governance exercised?

Eurostat is the European authority responsible for developing, producing and disseminating European statistics. It coordinates the statistical activities of the institutions and bodies of the European Union (EU).

The national statistical institutes (NSIs) are designated by each Member State to coordinate all activities related to the development, production and dissemination of European statistics. They are a contact point for Eurostat.

The (ESS) is the result of a partnership between Eurostat and the NSIs, as well as other national authorities in each Member State.

This Regulation also establishes the European Statistical System Committee (ESS Committee), which shall be composed of representatives of the NSIs and chaired by Eurostat. The ESS Committee shall be consulted by the Commission on the following questions:

  • the development, production and dissemination of European statistics;
  • the European statistical programme;
  • issues concerning statistical confidentiality;
  • the further development of the Code of Practice.

The ESS shall cooperate closely with the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). It shall also be responsible for updating the European statistics Code of Practice. This Code of Practice aims at ensuring public trust in European statistics.

European statistics must be developed, produced and disseminated according to harmonised methods which, in particular, apply criteria of relevance, accuracy, accessibility and coherence.

How are European statistics produced?

European statistics are produced as part of the European statistical programme for a period of five years. This programme sets priorities as to information needs in relation to the activities of the European Union (EU).

Before finalising the statistical programme, the European Commission shall submit a draft to the ESS Committee.

Implementation of the European statistical programme shall be decided by:

  • the European Parliament and the Council;
  • the Commission;
  • a written agreement between the NSIs, other national authorities and Eurostat.

The Commission shall also submit an annual work programme to the ESS Committee for the following year, based on the European statistical programme.

How are European statistics disseminated?

European statistics shall be disseminated by Eurostat, the NSIs, and other national authorities. Such data may be disseminated in the form of a public file which shall nevertheless be anonymous.

Where the data have been transferred to Eurostat, the NSI or the national authority which provided the data must give its explicit approval before dissemination takes place.

What are the parameters of statistical confidentiality?

Confidential data shall only be accessed by Eurostat officials. Such data must be used exclusively for statistical purposes and must not be disclosed unlawfully.

However, there are exceptional cases in which statistical units may be disseminated, where:

  • specific conditions and modalities are determined by an act of the European Parliament and of the Council;
  • the statistical unit itself authorises the disclosure of its data.

Confidential data may be transmitted by an authority of the ESS to another authority as long as this act is recognised as being necessary to the development, production or dissemination of European statistics. The national rules of a Member State alone shall not be sufficient to justify such transmission.

NSIs, Eurostat and other national authorities may have access to sources of administrative data using their public administration system.

This Regulation repeals Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1101/2008, Regulation (EC) No 322/97 and Decision 89/382/EEC.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009


OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

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