European system of business registers - ESBRs


What is ESBRs?

The European System of Interoperable Statistical Business Registers (ESBRs) project is one of the eight projects in the ESS Vision 2020 portfolio. Its main objective is to provide infrastructure (i.e. methodologies, processes and IT systems) for the improving the quality of business statistics in Europe. In particular, the ESBRs project aims at achieving progress in confronting three main problems:

  • Inconsistencies in business statistics due to different practices as concerns the production, use and role of national statistical business registers; 
  • Inconsistencies in statistics on globalisation due to the absence of a shared view on the operational structure of global enterprise groups; 
  • Inefficiencies in business register processes and in statistical production processes due to the absence of common infrastructure for linking and sharing business register information.

This project covers the following key areas of the ESS Vision 2020:

Strive for quality  Promote efficiency in production processes

Who we are

Because of its importance, the ESBRs project involves a large number of governance bodies, managers and experts from Eurostat and the Member States. Besides, more than 500 users accross Europe regularly use such project deliverables as the EuroGroups Register and the Interactive Profiling Tool.

Discussions on technical and organisational issues take place at expert level, for example in the European Profiling Task Force and in the ESBRs Business Architecture Task Force. The ESBRs Steering Group and the Business Registers Working Group consult the project owner (Eurostat's Director of global business statistics) on technical and organisational issues. Strategic issues are addressed by the Business Statistics Directors Group (BSDG) and when applicable by the Vision Implementation Group (VIG).

The ESBRs Steering Group plays an important role in the project, with delegates from 14 national statistical institutes, 2 national central banks, the European Central Bank and Eurostat (see below).

Footnote: The UK refrained from participating in the Steering Group and Task Force meetings from 2019, in view of leaving the European Union.

Latest developments

The project reports already an important number of achievements, such as: 

  • The development of the EuroGroups Register (EGR) 2.0, containing the biggest multinational groups with presence in Europe, as well as a number of applications for collaborative work on multinational groups, unique identification of legal units, etc.
  • A methodology for European Profiling of multinational groups.
  • The development of the Interactive Profiling Tool (IPT) prototype, for collaborative European Profiling.
  • A business architecture for the development of a network of interoperable registers. 
  • A data quality programme for the improvement of quality of national statistical business registers and of EGR.

An important number of activities are currently ongoing for finalisation of the last project deliverables until 2020, including:

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EuroGroups Register (EGR) 2.0

What is EuroGroups Register (EGR) 2.0?

The EuroGroups Register (EGR) is the statistical business register of multinational enterprise groups (MNEs) in the EU.


EGR 2.0, developed under the VIP.ESBRs project, was created through the cooperation between Eurostat and the national statistical offices of the EU Member States and EFTA countries, by pooling together microdata on legal units, relationships, enterprises and enterprise groups. EGR contains structural economic information in MNEs with legal units in at least two European countries..

The EGR is a database for statistical use only and it is restricted to users of national statistical institutes, national central banks, the ECB and Eurostat.

EGR provides harmonised information on:

  • groups, enterprises, legal units (identification, demographic and economic characteristics),
  • relationships and control,
  • shareholdings of at least 10%


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EGR EuroGroups Communcation Space home (Wiki space)


Interactive Profiling Tool (IPT)

What is the Interactive Profiling Tool (IPT)?

The purpose of Profiling is to analyse the legal, economic and operational structure of an enterprise group in order to get the best delineation of the statistical unit 'enterprise'. The enterprise definition is given in Regulation 696/1993: "The enterprise is the smallest combination of legal units that is an organisational unit producing goods or services, which benefits from a certain degree of autonomy in decision-making, especially for the allocation of its current resources".


European Profiling analyses the economic and operational structure of multinational groups irrespective of geographical borders. It takes into account the global dimension of groups and reflects better their activities.

In practical terms, the Interactive Profiling Tool (IPT), developed under the ESBRs project, retrieves data from the EuroGroups Register (EGR) 2.0 and helps national statisticians and profilers improve their quality. EGR 2.0 provides IPT with the structure of the groups having legal units operating in Europe, including data on the economic activity classification, employment and turnover. With the help of IPT, national profilers in the countries where each group operates can better understand and model their national enterprises.

IPT is a central on-line collaborative platform, aiming to serve profilers in 32 EU Member States and EFTA countries. At the moment, 25 countries are already working on IPT.

More than 300 multinational groups have been collaboratively profiled under the project by the beginning of 2018 (of which more than 170 by using IPT).

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Interactive Profiling Tool (IPT) (Wiki space)