Consistency (MBGA2)

The project operates in the domain of the ESSnet on "Consistency of concepts and applied methods of business and trade-related statistics". It constitutes the ESSnet's work package 2 (WP2), the other two work packages refering to issue on the “Statistical Units” (WP1) and on “Characteristics and Definitions” (WP3).

Within the determinants of a consistent European system of Business Statistics, WP2 is concerned with the determinants target population, frames, reference period, classifications, size classes, breakdowns and special aggregates.

In examining each of the relevant domains of business and trade-related statistics, a range of topics will be reviewed, including the basic statistical instruments, such as classifications and the business register.

Main objective:

The ultimate goal of this action is to provide proposals which – when implemented – will contribute to a decrease of current inconsistencies in the areas of business and trade-related statistics covered. Thus, together with the results of the other work packages of the ESSnet, the results should enable the Commission and the MS to set an important step in the achievement of an integrated system of economic and business statistics, and that, furthermore, this system is implemented in an integrated way with low costs and a minimum of response burden.

The objectives of WP2 shall be achieved by:

  1. producing an inventory of the implementation of target population, frames, reference period, classifications and their applications in the Member States,
  2. collecting additional information in Member States
  3. identifying existing inconsistencies,
  4. evaluating and assessing existing inconsistencies,
  5. and, finally, by proposing necessary adjustments.

These actvities are to be accompanied by permanent communication and dissemination within the ESS, involving above all non-participating countries and main stakeholders.

The inventory mentioned under 1. should provide a comprehensive and up-to-date overview on how the Member States and EFTA countries implement in practice the concepts and requirements of target population, frames, reference period, classifications and their applications in the areas of statistics to be included (SBS, STS, Business Demography, PRODCOM, FDI, FATS, Tourism, Energy, Waste Statistics, ICT, Innovation, R&D, External Trade SES, LCS, Job Vacancy, Vocational Training, Business Register). The description of the inconsistencies identified will cover the inconsistencies within the overall system of business-related statistics and for National Accounts and Balance of Payments.

The role of the business register as a basis for drawing sample frames will especially be addressed.

The development of the proposals will consider especially the following issues:

  • the role of the business register to achieve consistency,
  • the role of subsidiarity, use of secondary statistical sources and statistical estimates,
  • user needs,
  • possibilities for cost and burden reduction.

The development of the proposals will be based on a set of criteria, such as degree of importance for improvements and expected increase in consistency, ease of implementation, whether a legal basis needs to be amended or created, costs of change, interactions between the proposals, time frame, etc.

An important goal is also the communication and dissemination of materials and papers of the project to the ESS community, mainly through the CROS portal, but also at relevant working party meetings etc.

WP2 is carried out by a partnership of 7 NSIs under the coordination of Statistics Austria. Partners in addition to the project coordinator are: Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and the UK (starting member ISTAT left the partnership during the first half of 2013).

For further information please refer to the attached documents (project's direction report and intermediate implementation report) and other documentation on the CROS portal.

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