The EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) instrument is based on the idea of a common "framework". The common framework is flexible in terms of data sources and sampling design although the use of existing data sources, whether they are surveys or registers, and the use of national sampling design is strongly encouraged. As an illustration, the following sampling designs were used in 2007:

  • Sampling of dwellings or addresses: Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania and United Kingdom.
  • Sampling of households: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia and Switzerland.
  • Sampling of individuals: Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Norway (all ‘register' countries except Lithuania).

The common framework defines a number of target objectives aimed at maximising the comparability of the information produced:

  • Concepts and definitions;
  • Guidelines and procedures;
  • Harmonised lists of variables;
  • Classifications.