European Statistical System (ESS)


Logo ESSEurostat does not work alone. Since the early days of the Community it was realised that decisions on and planning and implementation of Community 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 EU level.

The ESS is the partnership between the Statistical authority of the Union, which is the Commission (Eurostat), 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.

Member States collect data and compile statistics for national and EU purposes. The ESS functions as a network in which Eurostat's role is to lead the way in the harmonization of statistics in close cooperation with the national statistical authorities. ESS work concentrates mainly on EU policy areas - but, with the extension of EU policies, harmonization has been extended to nearly all statistical fields.

The ESS also coordinates its work with candidate countries, and at European level with other Commission services, agencies and the ECB and international organisations such as OECD, the UN, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.


European Statistical Advisory Committee (ESAC)

The European Statistical Advisory Committee (ESAC) aims to ensure that user requirements are taken into account in determining the strategic objectives of statistics in the European Statistical System. The importance of identifying priorities and facilitating exchanges among user groups has grown in recent years in the light of the challenges National Statistical Institutes are facing: reduced budgets and the pressure for efficiency gains whilst coping with demands for new statistics.

ESAC delivers its opinions on the strategic priorities of the multiannual and annual statistical programmes of the Commission from the perspective of users’ requirements and producers' concerns regarding the production and dissemination of statistics. The Committee also takes position in a number of topical issues such as resources, migration and communication of statistics. Some issues are discussed more in-depth with experts in workshops.