With the adoption of the European Statistics Code of Practice, Eurostat and the statistical authorities of the EU Member States have committed themselves to an encompassing approach towards high quality statistics. It builds upon a common European Statistical System definition of quality in statistics which contains the following dimensions:
- Relevance: European Statistics must meet the needs of users
- Accuracy and reliability: European Statistics must accurately and reliably portray reality
- Timeliness and punctuality: European Statistics must be disseminated in a timely and punctual manner
- Coherence and comparability: European Statistics should be consistent internally, over time and comparable between regions and countries; it should be possible to combine and make joint use of related data from different sources
- Accessibility and clarity: European Statistics should be presented in a clear and understandable form, disseminated in a suitable and convenient manner, available and accessible on an impartial basis with supporting metadata and guidance.
In EU-SILC two quality reports – intermediary and final – are produced at both EU and national level each year. The contents of the quality reports are defined by Commission regulation 28/2004 of 5 January 2004. In general terms the quality repots present information on the quality items described above. The intermediate one focuses on the cross-sectional operation while the final one includes also information on the longitudinal operation.