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Eurostat - the EU’s statistics office



Decision 2012/504/EU clarifying the role of Eurostat


It clarifies the role and responsibilities of Eurostat as regards the development, production and dissemination of European statistics.


  • Eurostat is part of the European Commission and headed by a Director-General.
  • Eurostat operates in line with the following statistical principles, as defined in Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 and the European Statistics Code of Practice:
    • professional independence;
    • impartiality;
    • objectivity;
    • reliability;
    • statistical confidentiality; and
    • cost-effectiveness.
  • Eurostat implements the European statistical programme and works on the basis of annual work programmes.
  • Eurostat’s main tasks are to:
    • collect and aggregate statistical data to compile European statistics;
    • develop and promote statistical standards, methods and procedures;
    • coordinate the European Statistical System (ESS), encourage cooperation among its partners and ensure it plays a leading role in official statistics at international level;
    • cooperate at international level with other countries and organisations, and support certain non-EU countries in improving their statistical systems.
  • Eurostat’s Director-General, who is also the Chief Statistician:
    • has sole responsibility for deciding on processes, statistical methods, standards and procedures, and the content and timing of statistical releases. The Director-General must act independently and neither ask for nor take instructions from any EU institutions or bodies, from national governments or any other organisations. The Director-General must take all necessary measures to ensure that statistical confidentiality is respected;
    • chairs the European Statistical System Committee (ESSC), which is composed of representatives of EU countries (from national statistics institutes) and which gives guidance to the ESS on developing, compiling and disseminating European statistics;
    • also liaises between the ESS and the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (composed of independent statistics experts) on all matters regarding the implementation of the European Statistics Code of Practice.
  • Subject to EU confidentiality rules, Eurostat can access the Commission services’ administrative data to reduce the workload for respondents.
  • Eurostat is responsible for the quality management of European statistics and must establish a quality assurance system to ensure the European Statistics Code of Practice is properly implemented.
  • Eurostat must ensure that European statistics are accessible to all users in accordance with statistical principles, in particular the principles of professional independence, impartiality and statistical confidentiality.


It has applied since 8 October 2012.


For more information, see:


Commission Decision 2012/504/EU of 17 September 2012 on Eurostat (OJ L 251, 18.9.2012, pp. 49-52)

last update 13.11.2017