Since the early days of the European Community it was realised that decisions on and planning and implementation of its policies must be based on reliable and comparable statistics. So the European Statistical System (ESS) was built up gradually with the objective of providing comparable statistics at a European level.
The ESS is a collaborative network between Eurostat (the Community statistical authority), which has the leading role in the harmonization of statistics and the national statistical institutes (NSIs) and other national authorities responsible in each Member State for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics. This partnership also includes the EEA and EFTA countries. The Statistical Service of Cyprus (CYSTAT) is a member of the ESS and has the coordinating role for European statistics in Cyprus.
ESS work concentrates mainly in statistics on EU policy areas. With the extension of EU policies, harmonization has been extended to nearly all statistical fields. The basic tool that the ESS is using to ensure the quality and credibility of data is the Code of Practice, which must be applied by all its members. The ESS also coordinates its work with candidate countries, and with other Commission services, agencies and the ECB and with International organisations such as OECD, the UN, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
ESS is regulated by the Regulation (EC) No. 223/2009, as amended by the Regulation (EU) 2015/759 of the European Parliament and of the Council about European statistics (Official Journal L 123/90, 19.05.2015). Under the framework of ESS the following committees are established:
European Statistical System Committee (ESSC)
This committee has the task of providing professional guidance to the ESS for developing, producing and disseminating European statistics and it meets four times a year. The ESSC is chaired by the Commission (Eurostat) and composed of the representatives of Member States' National Statistical Institutes.
The Partnership Group is a group of Directors General of the National Statistical Institutes of the ESS whose mission is to further the development of the ESS at the highest level, notably through ensuring the effective functioning of the European Statistical System Committee.
Director Generals of the National Statistical Institutes (DGINS)
It is held once a year with the aim of discussing topics related to the statistical programme and methods and processes for the production of Community statistics.
European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB)
The aim of the ESGAB is to provide an independent overview of the European Statistical System as regards the implementation of the European Statistics Code of Practice. It comprises seven independent members with outstanding competence in the field of statistics.
European Statistical Advisory Committee (ESAC)
The ESAC has 24 members representing users, respondents and other stakeholders of European Statistics (including the scientific community, social partners and civil society) as well as institutional users (like e.g, the Council and the European Parliament). The Committee plays an important role in ensuring that user requirements as well as the response burden on information providers and producers are taken into account in developing the Statistical Programmes.
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