Eurostat’s mission is to provide the European Union with a high-quality statistical information service. Accordingly, quality considerations play a central role with regard to Eurostat corporate management as well as our day-to-day statistical operations.
With the adoption of the European Statistics Code of Practice , Eurostat and the statistical authorities of the EU-Member States have committed themselves to an encompassing approach towards high quality statistics. It builds upon a common European Statistical System definition of quality in statistics and targets all relevant areas from the institutional environment, the statistical production processes to our output: European official statistics. More information is available under Code of Practice.
Quality reporting presents information on the quality of the Eurostat products as well as on tools and standards for quality reporting agreed within the European Statistical System (ESS).
Current practices suited to foster quality in European statistics are presented under ESS practices.
Information on the Eurostat evaluation function can be found under evaluation.
For further information please contact Eurostat Quality; Classifications Unit (B1) at ESTAT Quality.
Official statistical methodology aims at providing methods for each step of the statistical value chains, from survey and sample design to modelling, analysis and dissemination. Statistical methodology is a key factor contributing to efficiency gains, quality improvement, harmonisation of statistics and burden reduction. Good governance of the European Statistical System (ESS) should draw on methodological work to optimise and standardise European statistical data production.
The core methodological work of Eurostat includes the cooperation in harmonisation and standardisation with stakeholders throughout ESS, like NSIs and Eurostat production units. The high level collaboration environment includes DIME network, Sponsorship on Standardisation and Seasonal Adjustment Steering Group.
DIME network consist of Directors of Methodology in ESS and its role is to advise the European Statistical System Committee (ESSC), and to contribute to the ESS standardisation. The Sponsorship on Standardisation investigates ways to organise and strengthen the sharing of methods and tools and the creation of common infrastructures.
The Seasonal Adjustment Steering Group focuses on promoting the development of a flexible software solution for seasonal adjustment to be used within the ESS. The members of the steering group include Eurostat, European Central bank and experts from NSIs and National Central Banks.
Cros-portal, platform for researchers and official statisticians
The electronic exchange of statistical data is more and more frequent and important. This stresses the need for a set of common standards for exchange and sharing of statistical data and metadata, and for making processes more efficient. The objective is to establish a set of commonly recognised standards making it possible not only to have easy and timely access to statistical data, but also access to metadata which make the data more meaningful and usable.
The Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange (SDMX) initiative works towards the standardisation for statistical data and metadata access and exchange. This initiative is sponsored by seven international organisations: Bank for International Settlements (BIS), European Central Bank (ECB), Eurostat, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Cooperation and Development (OECD), United Nations (UN) and the World Bank (WB).
The SDMX standards and guidelines for restructuring statistical data and metadata also aim to ensure that appropriate metadata always come along with the data, making the information immediately understandable and useful. For this reason, standards for metadata exchange are extremely important in SDMX. A first set of technical standards was approved by ISO as a technical specification (ISO/TS 17369:2005). Version 2.0 has been publicly released in November 2005 and its approval process by ISO is ongoing. A first release of "content-oriented guidelines" has been published in January 2009. Have a look at the SDMX standards and guidelines at www.sdmx.org.
Eurostat is active in statistical research and in organising, together with UNECE and OECD, work sessions on metainformation systems called "METIS". This is the main forum where statistical institutes and experts from the UN/ECE area can exchange information on their respective projects and plans for the standardisation of the way data are described and made available. For further information, you may have a look at METIS archive.
Eurostat is also maintaining a Metadata Working Group, a group with ESS member States to discuss issues concerning management and standardisation of statistical metadata and a CIRCA interest group on Statistical metadata where working papers, technical documents and other web references are regularly posted, and are available to the general public.
In June 2005, the Directors and Heads of Unit adopted the principle of a Single Entry Point (SEP) for data sent to Eurostat. In May 2006, the Statistical Program Committee (SPC) endorsed the SEP strategy. Since 1 July 2008, it is compulsory to use eDAMIS (electronic Data files Administration and Management Information System) for the transmission of all regular datasets to Eurostat.
eDAMIS, an integrated environment of data transmission tools provided by Eurostat, is installed in all the National Statistical Institutes (EU27 + main Partner Countries) and in several other organisations (ministries, agencies, central banks…). Data senders who do not have an eDAMIS installation at their disposal can connect to the eDAMIS Web Portal on Internet and upload their data in the Single Entry Point.
eDAMIS can transmit any data file format (standard formats are GESMES and SDMX) and allows highly secure transmission of confidential data. As an alternative to Excel sheets, eDAMIS Web Forms are available.
eDAMIS provides management services: inventory of datasets, traffic reports, links between datasets and national organisations, automatic reminders, forwarding functions, data confidentiality, etc. Tools and services for data transmission and message standardisation (GESMES, SDMX) are made available, promoted and supported by Eurostat Statistical information technologies Unit B5.
Methodological developments in cross-cutting domains (former Eurostat Laboratory)
The Eurostat Laboratory was created in 2011 to initiate, lead and support the development of new statistical projects in cross-cutting statistical areas.The mission of the Laboratory was to assist Eurostat and its partners in the European Statistical System in answering newly emerging statistical needs in a timely way. It aimed at promoting innovation and facilitating integration between different domains of European Statistics. From September 2012 the Laboratory team and projects were intergrated into Directorate F "Social Statistics".
GISCO (Geographical Information System of the COmmission), is a permanent service in Eurostat unit E4 "Regional statistics and Geographical Information" Unit. GISCO promotes and stimulates the use of Geographical Information (GI) within the Commission and the European Statistical System.
GISCO is responsible for maintaining and updating a database including reference geospatial information as Administrative and Statistical Boundaries and Topographic layers (Hydrography, Transport Network, ...). It promotes geo-referencing of statistics and provides user support for Commission users of GIS.
GISCO is one of the leaders of the INSPIRE initiative, supporting the implementation of the directive for the establishment of a European Spatial Data Infrastructure.
GISCO represents Eurostat in the Geostat project and in the European Forum for Geostatistics. This Forum is a European-wide geo-statistical community with the objective of creating and improving a harmonised system of grid based statistical indicators.
For further information, please contact the GISCO team in Eurostat.
The ESSnet concept stems from the need to find synergies and harmonize and disseminate best practices in the European Statistical System. An ESSnet project is a network of several ESS organizations aimed at providing results that will be beneficial to the whole ESS.
The European Statistical System Network (ESSnet) projects' objective is to take advantage of the synergies from cooperation of some Member States or other ESS organisations. The projects' aim is to share expertise and to save costs in solving common problems of the whole European Statistical System.
The transfer of results to non-participating countries for the benefit of the entire ESS is an essential characteristic. There are several ESSnets for different topics, such as Statistical Disclosure Control, use of administrative and statistical data and decentralised access to EU microdata sets.
The ESSnet actions shall serve the interests of the whole ESS and should be in line with the 5 year statistical programme as being partly financed by Eurostat.
For further information:
For more information on the ESSnet projects, training and events, please visit Cros-portal
Sigma - the Bulletin of European statistics, addressing those who are interested in European statistics, was published by Eurostat until 2010. Each issue dealt with a specific statistical theme. The publication of Sigma has been discontinued until further notice.
Sigma 1/2010 - Sustainable agriculture and fisheries focuses on sustainable agriculture and fisheries statistics. Inside, readers will find examples of work done in the area by Eurostat and other European Union Directorates-General. We describe how international bodies, such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, help to provide policymakers with information and analysis. We present EU Member States with a high profile in the field of sustainable agriculture and fisheries, and shed light on agricultural conservation in the United States. The issue closes with a feature on Canada's central statistical agency Statistics Canada and a report on the 150th anniversary of official statistics in Romania.
Sigma 2/2009 - Modern tools for business cycle analysis reports from the conference, Modern tools for business cycle analysis, which was held in Luxembourg at the end of 2008. Articles highlight some of the topics discussed at the conference, the main needs of official statistics for business cycle analysis and the challenges which face statisticians in today’s turbulent economy. Sigma also reports on the National Statistics Office of Malta as well as the Turkish Statistical Institute.
Sigma 1/2009 - Cutting redtape - Focus on statistical response burden focuses on the reduction of administrative burden caused by official statistics, as discussed at the 94th Directors General of the National Statistical Institutes (DGINS) conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, in September 2008. Sigma reports on ways of simplifying statistical procedures through the rationalisation of working processes and use of modern technologies in different European countries and reflects on the importance of overcoming the negative perception of the statistical burden among the users of statistics.
Sigma 3/2008 - The economy by numbers - Focus on national accounts introduces the concepts used by specialists and explains the importance of national accounts for policy making on a European level. The reader will find out about the production of national accounts in Europe, meet their main users and learn about the implementation of the new System of National Accounts (SNA 2008).
Sigma 2/2008 - Modern statistics for modern society focuses on the Eurostat conference "Modern Statistics for Modern Society" held in December 2007. Inside you will find short summaries of key-note speeches, the topics discussed in the conference work groups as well as interviews with some of the speakers.
Sigma 1/2008 - People count concentrates on demography and migration statistics. We focus on the preparations for the coordinated population censuses to take place across much of Europe in 2011. Sigma also meets experts in demographic research who discuss the economic and social consequences of population projections, as well as the challenges related to migration statistics.
Sigma No. 2/2007 - Getting the price right focuses on price statistics in all forms. The spotlight first falls on the European Union's first-class inflation measure – the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) – produced by Eurostat for the past 14 years. Sigma also sheds light on the constantly evolving field of energy prices as well as the emerging sector of service producer prices. Another field that is featured is agricultural prices, which have been at the core of European policy since the very birth of the European Union. Sigma further shows the importance of the Purchasing Power Parities in international comparisons of, for example, GDP across countries. Import prices and external trade unit value indices are the subject of an interview with two Eurostat experts. Finally, Sigma gives a glimpse of the world and work of the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria.
Sigma No. 1/2007 - Building bridges focuses on international cooperation in statistics. Highlights include the role of European Commission services in the design and implementation of cooperation strategies and programmes, the point of view of regional and national partners and beneficiaries, the experience and views of major international organisations, such as the World Bank and the UN, working with the EU in this area and examples of bilateral cooperation from members of the European Statistical System.
Sigma No. 1/2006 focuses on best practices in the field of communication and dissemination of statistics. It features contributions from Eurostat and the national statistical offices of the ESS, the ECB and Statistics Canada. Examples range from renting a databank in Denmark to reaching out to primary school students in Poland or delivering high-quality statistics via the Canadian The Daily bulletin.