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Eurostat goes under the microscope

Peer Review of Eurostat by the European Statistics Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB)

How does Eurostat comply with the 16 principles of the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP)? The peer review conducted by the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB) between 22 June and 28 July, 2021 will try to answer this question. The experts of ESGAB will evaluate Eurostat with respect to its compliance with the Code of Practice as well as discuss future-oriented improvements of European statistics. A set of concrete recommendations will be the result, and form part of the final report to be published early 2022. Over the next two years, all national statistical institutes that are members of the European Statistical System (ESS) will be subject to such peer reviews.

“This time, we will pay special attention to the question of professional independence, the coordination role of Eurostat as well as all aspects of the Code related to modernisation”, remarked Aurel Schubert, the Chair of ESGAB, at the occasion of the launch of the peer review. “Ensuring the highest quality of European statistics is of paramount importance for the public trust in those statistics and their producers. Here, the CoP and the regular peer reviews play a crucial role. In times of Covid-19 also questions related to the - often innovative - solutions of Eurostat and the ESS to the statistical challenges of the crisis and the lessons for the future will be important topics of the review. ESGAB, as an independent expert advisory body, is well placed to discuss and evaluate these developments, help to draw the right conclusions and make relevant recommendations for the future direction of European statistics”, concluded Aurel Schubert.

The peer review comprises several elements:

  • a self-assessment of Eurostat based on a questionnaire,
  • several (virtual) meetings with representatives of the most important stakeholder groups (like EU Commission users, research institutions, media, European Central Bank, international organisations, the European Data Protection Supervisor, or the European Statistics Advisory Committee (ESAC)), and also with Eurostat staff and senior management, and
  • a final report to the European Parliament and Council of the European Union.

The report is expected to be published in January 2022. The previous peer reviews of Eurostat had taken place in 2007 and 2014.