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International organisations

Why is co-operation with International organisations so important?

EU statistical legislation contains a wide variety of standards which create the framework of the European Statistical System (ESS). The enlarged European Statistical System, consisting of EU members, EFTA countries, candidate countries, potential candidate countries, and participants in the European Neighbourhood Policy, comprises 55 countries; this amounts to over one quarter of the UN membership. Eurostat cooperates with other international organisations to build on best practices and to improve the coordination of methods as well as the comparability and quality of data.

The cooperation with international organisations takes place over various statistical domains at international and regional level. Statistical activities at global level are mainly coordinated by the United Nations (UN), to guarantee integrated systems of collection, processing and dissemination of data.

United Nations (UN)

Statistical co-operation between the United Nations and Eurostat takes place on two levels: globally and regionally. 

At a global level Eurostat cooperates with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) which coordinates international statistical programmes and activities for the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) and the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA). The UNSC reports to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Eurostat also co-operates with several specialised agencies in the UN, for example with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which includes co-operation on nomenclatures, methodologies and the exchange of education and training statistics; with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the area of health and food safety; and with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the area of agriculture and fisheries.

At regional level, Europe, cooperation takes place with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which is steered by the Conference of European Statisticians (CES) and its Bureau. The members of the CES Bureau are elected every 2nd year with Eurostat as a permanent observer.

United Nations system (detailed)

Information on EU relations with the UN (EEAS web site)

What is presently on the UN working programme?

- Follow-up of Rio+20 conference
- Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, adopted 1994 (in view of its 20th anniversary in 2014) See also Eurostat Quality and Code of Practice
- Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics
- Development of Environment Statistics
- System of Environment and Economic Accounting (SEEA)
- Statistical-spatial framework in national statistical systems
- Improving crime statistics

Co-ordination of International Statistical Activities

The Database of International Statistical Activities (DISA) is a tool used to coordinate international statistical work in the region of UNECE, bringing together the statistical programmes of work of about 30 international organisations. Its purpose is to improve co-ordination between statistical organisations and to reduce overlap by showing the planned work in international statistics during the coming year.

In order to guarantee efficiency in the work in different statistical domains, Eurostat has established an Inventory of groups in international statistical cooperation.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Eurostat's cooperation with OECD is based on an informal agreement in the Inter-secretariat Working groups (IWGs). A Memorandum of Understanding covers the exchange of statistical data. Eurostat is a member of the OECD Statistics Committee (CSTAT). Members of the CSTAT Bureau are elected every second year. Eurostat is a permanent observer.

Eurostat is represented in the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21). This consortium brings together statistical users and produccers from developed and developing countries, regional and international institutions and bilateral donors. The aim is to improve governance and government effectiveness in reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are co-ordinated by the UNSD.


International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Eurostat's co-operation with International Monetary Fund (IMF) is based on an informal agreement in the Inter-secretariat Working groups (IWGs).


World Bank

The World Bank is mainly a user of statistics. It provides technical assistance for statistics and plays an important role on the development of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs); indicators generally via the European Commission DG for Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid. Along with other organisations, it has recently developed the Virtual Statistical System (VSS), an online resource for national statistical offices, other data producing agencies, data users, or anyone who wants to know more about official statistics and how statistical systems and their organisations operate.

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Eurostat cooperates with International Labour Organization (ILO) in the fields of Labour market and Social Protection statistics.



Eurostat co-operates with many international organisations for example with International Statistical Institute (ISI) with affiliates, mainly on methodological subjects. ISI Sessions are held every second year. ISI2015 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Last update 01.07.2014