The European Statistical System (ESS) is dedicated to improve efficiency through systematic collaboration of the ESS members. This collaboration is intensified by sharing of data, services, methodologies, tools and knowledge, experience.

The implementation of this collaborative system, envisaged by the ESS Vision 2020, is based on a wide range of common tools enabling common production, use of integrated data and systems and share of tools and infrastructure. Standardisation in the ESS is aimed at the enhancement of this collaboration by providing a framework and arrangements to develop, share and maintain standards in the ESS. The foreseen approach for ESS standardisation establishes a system in which standards in the ESS are established by consensus with the involvement of potential stakeholders in a transparent process; therefore standardisation in the ESS is aimed at the realisation of efficiency gains and improvement of quality by the establishment of standards for the ESS members.

In order to achieve this goal, the process of standardisation has been developed for the ESS by the Sponsorship on Standardisation and the ESSnet on Standardisation. The process is the backbone of the proposed standardisation system in the ESS as it provides the guarantees to realise efficiency gains by ensuring consensus, transparency and openness, balance, due process and proportionality. In order to support this process and the standardisation activities in practice, many additional instruments have been designed, such as the inventory of normative documents.

The ESS standard is a normative document, established by consensus among ESS members and approved by a recognised body according to the procedure of ESS standardisation, that provides for common and repeated use by several actors in the ESS, rules, guidelines or characteristics for the development, production and dissemination of European Statistics, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in the context of the implementation of the mission and vision of the ESS.

Therefore standards are one type of normative documents as shown on the attached figure.

The full vocabulary of ESS standardisation-related concepts is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/cros/content/deliverable-1-vocabulary-stand...