European statistics code of practice

The European Statistics Code of Practice is the cornerstone of the quality framework and sets the standards for developing, producing and disseminating European statistics. It defines 16 key Principles for the institutional environment under which the EU and the national statistical authorities operate, for the statistical processes and outputs. A set of Indicators (84) of best practices and standards for each of the 16 Principles provides a reference for reviewing the implementation of the Code, and hence, increasing transparency in the European Statistical System.

The European Statistics Code of Practice was adopted by the Statistical Programme Committee on 24 February 2005 and revised by the European Statistical System Committee in September 2011 and in November 2017.

Together with the 2011 revision of the Code of Practice, the European Statistical System Committee adopted the Quality Assurance Framework of the ESS. The Quality Assurance Framework serves as a guidance and complement on how to implement the European Statistics Code of Practice. Based on the revised Code of Practice of November 2017 the QAF was also adjusted and the revised version published in 2019.

Eurostat adopted the Protocol on Impartial Access to Eurostat data for users to support the implementation of the Code of Practice in the spirit of the Code’s Principle 6 on ‘Impartiality and Objectivity’. It addresses Eurostat users, staff and partners in the production of European Statistics and contains Eurostat’s dissemination policy as well as the pre-release access arrangements, both for quality assurance, joint production and for information purposes.

The implementation of the quality framework in the European Statistical System is monitored through ESS peer reviews – for more information please refer to the related section. Each year Eurostat monitors the progress that is achieved in the implementation of the peer reviews’ improvement actions across the ESS. Summary information of this monitoring is provided to the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB) for its Annual Report to the European Parliament and the Council.

ESGAB, an independent Advisory Board, reports on the implementation of the Code of Practice insofar as it relates to Eurostat and includes an assessment of the implementation of the Code of Practice in the ESS as a whole. It also advises on appropriate measures to facilitate the Code’s implementation, on its communication and its possible updates. The ESGAB Annual Reports, starting with 2009, are accessible through its website.