This note provides a brief overview of the governance structure guiding the provision of statistics by the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), which comprises the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks (NCBs) of the Member States of the European Union.
Article 5 of the Statute of the ESCB and of the ECB confers upon the ECB the competence to collect, assisted by the NCBs, the statistical information necessary to perform the tasks of the ESCB, either from the competent national authorities or directly from economic agents. For these purposes, it shall cooperate with the Community institutions or bodies and with the competent authorities of the Member States or third countries and with international organisations.
Council Regulation (EC) No 2533/98 concerning the collection of statistical information by the ECB, as last amended by Council Regulation (EC) 951/2009, provides the basic secondary legislative framework for the ECB's statistical activities.
The reference reporting population includes the entire "financial corporations" sector. In addition, the Council Regulation establishes the scope of the information that the ESCB can collect from the reference reporting population and authorises the ECB to collect information for all tasks of the ESCB, including for financial stability, payment and payment system purposes. In order to better identify the scope of the statistics collected and compiled by the ESCB, the Council Regulation includes a definition of "European statistics". They are defined as statistics that are: (i) necessary to undertake the ESCB's tasks as referred to in the Treaty; (ii) determined in the ESCB's statistical work programme; and (iii) developed, produced and disseminated in conformity with the statistical principles.
For the ECB, adhering to high quality standards is a key factor in maintaining public trust in the ECB statistics upon which policy decisions are based. Therefore, since the start of Economic and Monetary Union the ECB has emphasised key aspects of statistical quality, such as relevance, accuracy, reliability, timeliness, consistency, cost-effectiveness, non-excessive burden on reporting agents and statistical confidentiality. The ECB Statistics Quality Framework (SQF) sets forth the main quality principles and elements guiding the production of ECB statistics. It serves to ensure that ECB statistics remain fit for use by the ECB, its decision-making bodies and other ESCB users, as well as users outside the ESCB.
In the book entitled "Statistics for Economic and Monetary Union, enhancements and new directions 2003-12" the former Director- General of Statistics Peter Bull describes how the ECB has responded to new information requirements over the period under review but also mentioning the latest developments in 2013.
These years have been marked by important changes in data requirements to support policy-making, some of which were prompted by the lessons learned from the financial crisis.
The Annual Report describes the activities of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and reports on the Eurosystem's monetary policy of the previous year. It also includes the Annual Accounts of the ECB.