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Production of Community statistics

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Production of Community statistics

The purpose of this Regulation is to establish a legislative framework for the systematic and programmed production of Community statistics with a view to the formulation, application, monitoring and assessment of Community policies.


Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 of 17 February 1997 on Community Statistics.


The national authorities, at national level, and the Community authority, at Community level, are responsible for the production of Community statistics in compliance with the principle of subsidiarity.

To guarantee comparability of results, Community statistics are produced on the basis of uniform standards and, in specific, duly justified cases, harmonised methods.

For the purposes of this Regulation:

  • 'Community statistics' means quantitative, aggregated and representative information taken from the collection and systematic processing of data, produced by the national authorities and the Community authority in the framework of implementation of the Community statistical programme in accordance with point 3;
  • 'production of statistics' means the process encompassing the activities necessary for the collection, storage, processing and compilation of statistics;
  • 'national authorities' means national statistical institutes and other bodies responsible in each Member State for producing Community statistics;
  • 'Community authority' means the Commission department responsible for carrying out the tasks devolving on the Commission as regards the production of Community statistics (Eurostat).

In accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaty, the Council is to adopt a Community statistical programme which defines the approaches, the main fields and the objectives of the actions envisaged for a period not exceeding five years. The Community statistical programme is to constitute the framework for the production of all Community statistics. If necessary, it may be updated. The Commission is to prepare a report on the implementation of the programme at the end of the period covered by the programme.

The Commission is to submit the guidelines for establishing the Community statistical programme for prior examination by the Statistical Programme Committee and, in accordance with their respective powers, by the European Advisory Committee on Statistical Information in the Economic and Social Spheres and the Committee on Monetary, Financial and Balance of Payments Statistics.

The Community statistical programme referred to above is to be implemented by specific statistical actions decided on by the Council under the appropriate Treaty provisions or by the Commission under the conditions laid down in point 4 or by agreement between the national authorities and the Community authority within their respective spheres of competence.

Each year, before the end of May, the Commission is to submit its work programme for examination by the Statistical Programme Committee for the following year, indicating in particular:

  • the actions which the Commission considers to have priority, bearing in mind both national and Community financial constraints;
  • the procedures and any legal instruments envisaged by the Commission for the implementation of the programme.

The Commission is to take particular account of the comments of the Statistical Programme Committee, and take the action it considers most appropriate.

The Commission may decide on an individual statistical action as provided for in point 3 when it meets all the following conditions:

  • the action must not last for more than one year;
  • the data to be gathered must be already available or accessible within the national authorities responsible, or, in exceptional cases, data which can be gathered directly;
  • any additional costs incurred at national level as a result of the action must be borne by the Commission.

To guarantee the coherence necessary to produce statistics meeting their respective information requirements, the Commission is to cooperate closely with the European Central Bank (ECB), taking due account of the principles defined in point 9. The Committee on Monetary, Financial and Balance of Payments Statistics is to be associated, within the limits of its competence, in this cooperation.

In order to ensure the best possible quality in both ethical and professional aspects, Community statistics are to be governed by the principles of impartiality, reliability, relevance, cost-effectiveness, statistical confidentiality and transparency.

'Dissemination' means the activity of making Community statistics accessible to users.

Data used by the national authorities and the Community authority for the production of Community statistics must be considered confidential when they allow statistical units to be identified, either directly or indirectly, thereby disclosing individual information.



Entry into force - Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 322/97



OJ L 52 of 22.2.1997

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003



OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003


Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 September 2003 adapting to Council Decision 1999/468/EC the provisions relating to committees which assist the Commission in the exercise of its implementing powers laid down in instruments subject to the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the EC Treaty [Official Journal L 284 of 31.10.2003]. This document adapts Regulation (EC) No 322/97, subject to the management procedure, to the corresponding provisions of Decision 1999/468/EC which aims to simplify the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission and covers the three implementing procedures: advisory, management and regulatory.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 831/2002 of 17 May 2002 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 on Community Statistics, concerning access to confidential data for scientific purposes [Official Journal L 133 of 18.5.2002].

This Regulation establishes, for the purpose of enabling statistical conclusions to be drawn for scientific purposes, the conditions under which access to confidential data transmitted to the Community authority may be granted and the rules of cooperation between the Community and national authorities in order to facilitate such access.

Decision No 2367/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on the Community statistical programme 2003 to 2007 [Official Journal L 358 of 31.12.2002]. This Decision establishes the Community statistical programme for the period 2003-07. The programme is guided by the principal Community policy priorities of:

  • economic and monetary union (EMU);
  • European Union enlargement;
  • competitiveness, sustainable development and the social agenda.

The programme's budget for the period 2003-07 is set at EUR 192.5 million. During the third year of implementation of the programme, the Commission is to draft an intermediate report. At the end of the period covered by the programme, the Commission is to present an appropriate evaluation report on the implementation of the programme, to be completed by 2008 at the latest.

Council Decision No 126/1999/EC of 22 December 1998 on the Community statistical programme 1998 to 2002 [Official Journal L 42 of 16.2.1999].

This Decision sets up the Community statistical programme for the period from 1998 to 2002. It covers the principal Community policy priorities of:

  • Economic and Monetary Union (EMU);
  • competitiveness, growth and employment;
  • European Union enlargement.

Commission Decision No 98/281/EC of 21 April 1997 on the role of Eurostat as regards the production of Community statistics [Official Journal No L 112, 29.4.1997]

This Decision defines the role and the responsibilities of the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) pursuant to the development of the tasks of the Community authority in implementing Community statistics, and of the principles as set out in Article 10 of Regulation No 322/97/EC.

See also

For further information, please consult: the Eurostat Internet site.

Last updated: 16.08.2006