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European Statistics Code of Practice

Last update: 29.12.2021 | Number of views: 39745

European Statistics Code of Practice

(revised version 2017)

The European Statistics Code of Practice

The European Statistics Code of Practice is the basis of the common quality framework of the European Statistical System. It is a self-regulatory tool and it is based on 16 Principles covering the institutional environment, statistical processes and statistical outputs. A set of indicators of best practices and standards for each of the Principles provides guidelines and benchmarks for reviewing the implementation of the Code of Practice, thus increasing transparency within the European Statistical System.

Statistical authorities, including the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board1 (ESGAB, Board)), the national statistical institutes and other national authorities responsible for the development, production and dissemination of European Statistics, undertake to comply with the Code of Practice for European statistics.

An independent Advisory Board, the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board1 (ESGAB, the Board) provides an overview of the European Statistical System regarding the implementation of the Code of Practice. The Bureaus analyses the implementation of the Code of Practice by the European Union Statistical Office (Eurostat) and the European Statistical System as a whole; and advises on appropriate measures to facilitate the implementation of the Code of Practice, on its communication to users and data providers as well as on its possible updatings.

This 2017 edition is the second revision of the Code of Practice, originally adopted in 2005. It aims at reflecting the recent changes and innovations in the development, production and dissemination of official statistics inside and outside  the European Statistical System, such as emerging of the new data sources, use of new technologies, modernisation of the legal framework, and the results of the peer reviews on the implementation of the Code of Practice.

Adopted by the European Statistical System Committee on 16th November 2017

The principles of the  European Statistics Code of Practice - overview

Institutional environment

Institutional and organisational factors have a major impact on the efficiency and the credibility of a statistical authority developing, producing and disseminating European Statistics. In this sense, he relevant Principles a the following:

  • Professional independence, Coordination and cooperation, Mandate for data collection, Adequacy of resources, Quality commitment, Statistical confidentiality, Impartiality and objectivity.

Statistical Processes

European and other international standards, guidelines and good practices are fully observed in the statistical processes used by the statistical authorities to develop, produce and disseminate European Statistics, while constantly striving for innovation. The credibility of statistics is enhanced by a good reputation for quality management and efficiency. In this sense, the relevant Principles are the following:

  • Sound methodology, Appropriate statistical procedures, Non-excessive burden on respondents and Cost effectiveness.

Statistical Outputs

Available statistics meet users’ needs. Statistics comply with the European quality standards and serve the needs of European institutions, governments, research institutions, business concerns and the general public. The quality of outputs is measured by the principles of statistical outputs:

  • Relevance, Accuracy and Reliability, Timeliness and Punctuality, Coherence and Comparability, Accessibility and Clarity.


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