An ESSnet project is designed to cover methodological activities. These should nevertheless be understood in the broad sense including, for instance, the development of tools for a specific phase of statistical production; the drafting of guidelines; or the establishment of standards.

ESSnet projects could not be used for the production process as a whole since the grant policy excludes the regular support of permanent production processes. However, projects to improve data quality or to test new methods of gathering or producing information could qualify provided that they are comprised of substantial methodological and development work (over a limited period of up to 4 years). The option for countries to outsource some specific production processes to only one member would therefore not qualify the project for an ESSnet.