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 was to provide infrastructure (i.e. methodologies, processes and IT systems) for improving the quality of business statistics in Europe. The project started in 2013, engaged more than 500 stakeholders (experts, managers and users) in Eurostat and 32 countries and enjoyed particular attention in the international community of business registers and business statistics.

The project delivered a great number of outputs, as:

it developed agreed and common methodologies and globalised approaches, such as the ESBRs Business Architecture, the ESBRs Interoperability Framework, the European Profiling methodology and the Data Quality Programme;

it developed common tools and remote access facilities, such as the four applications of the EuroGroups Register (EGR) and the Interactive Profiling Tool (IPT) tool;

it tested the developed tools and approaches in practice during the ESBRs interoperability pilots, while the five successful annual production cycles of EGR and the four annual cycles of IPT already implemented many of the developed features.

The Business Statistics Directors Group approved unanimously on 9 June 2020 the ESBRs project end-report, thus endorsing the project results and recognising the project’s successful closure. The project end-report can be accessed on the ESBRs project wiki

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 involved 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 took 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 consulted the project owner (Eurostat's Director of global business statistics) on technical and organisational issues. Strategic issues were addressed by the Business Statistics Directors Group (BSDG) and when applicable by the Vision Implementation Group (VIG).

The ESBRs Steering Group played 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.

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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.

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)?

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.

IPT, developed under the ESBRs project, retrieves data from 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 can better understand and model their national enterprises.

Collaborative European Profiling of more than 450 multinational groups was carried out by the Member States during the period 2014-2019 based on grants under the ESBRs project.

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Interactive Profiling Tool (IPT) (Wiki space)