Participation in the European statistical system plays an important part in Statistics Denmark’s international involvement. Furthermore, Statistics Denmark is also an active player in other international forums, among others UN and OECD.
Statistics Denmark is a member of the European Statistical System (ESS). The ESS is a partnership between the Community statistical authority (Eurostat), the national statistical institutes and other national statistics producers in each Member States. There are 12 other national authorities producing European statistics in Denmark and are hereby included as such in the ESS. This ESS partnership also includes the EFTA countries. The European statistics cooperation is regulated in the law on European statistics.
The purpose of the European statistical cooperation is to produce comparable statistics of high quality. The statistics constitute an important basis for planning, implementation and evaluation in a number of policy and cooperation areas. EU statistics are produced under the framework of a statistical 5-year program adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. In order to provide users with a more thorough insight into the ESS, an ESS report is published yearly with more detailed information about the latest initiatives and the development of the system.
A major part of EU statistics is produced according to legislation. Statistics Denmark participates actively in all phases of the EU legislative process. This is, e.g. conducted in the Commission’s (Eurostat´s) working groups, where experts from Statistics Denmark and other Member States are consulted in connection with preparation and implementation of EU statistical legislation.
The European Statistical System Committee (ESSC), which is the executive body within the ESS cooperation, is composed of the Directors General of each national statistical institute.
In the years to come the European statistical system is undergoing a reform process originating in a vision for cooperation in the European statistical system towards 2020. The reform process focusses on 5 areas: 1) user requirements and stakeholder cooperation, 2) quality, 3) new data sources, 4) effective and quality assurance of statistical production processes, and 5) dissemination and communication.
Eurostat is the Statistical Office of the European Communities. It publishes EU statistics enabling comparisons between Member States and regions. Eurostat was set up in accordance with a decision made by the Commission.
EU legislation on statistics
In order to ensure comparable EU statistics from country to country and over time, the majority of the statistics is produced in accordance with binding EU legal acts.
All statistics are compiled in accordance with the quality standards of European Statistics Code of Practice
Statistics Denmark cooperates with several international organizations. Among the most important are: United Nations Statistical Commission and the European part hereof, Statistical department of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Labour Organization (ILO).
United Nations Statistical Commission
United Nations Statistical Commission was set up by United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1947 and assists the Economic and Social Council with the following tasks, e.g.:
- To promote the development of national statistics and improve their comparability.
- To develop the central statistics function at United Nations Statistics Division and to coordinate the statistical work in the organizations of the United Nations.
- To advise the organizations of the United Nations on collection, processing and dissemination of statistics.
- To promote and improve statistical methods.
Conference of European Statisticians (CES)
Conference of European Statisticians (CES) is the regional UN authority for statistics. The CES reports to UN’s Statistical Commission and is part of UN’s Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The purposes and tasks of the CES are similar to those of the Statistical Commission. In addition to this, the CES is to contribute to closer cooperation between all producers of official statistics in the ECE region and in this connection ensures comparability, the best possible use of consumption and coordinates the collection of statistics from national producers.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
The OECD’s mission is to promote policies improving the economic as well as the social situation in the world. In order to live up to this mission the OECD and its numerous affiliated committees, expert groups, etc. require, to a great extent official statistics of high quality. The OECD’s statistics division collects statistics from member states and the statistics are processed with a view to increasing comparability. The statistics are, e.g. published in the monthly edition of Main Economic Indicators. The statistical cooperation is organized in working groups under the OECD’s Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy (CSSP).
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Statistics Denmark’s relationship with the IMF is maintained in close cooperation with the Danish Ministry of Finance and the central bank of Denmark. The IMF’s statistical work embraces mainly two areas: guidelines for compiling statistics and standards for documentation.
International Labour Organization (ILO)
In collaboration with the Danish Ministry of Employment, Statistics Denmark is in continuous contact with the International Labour Organization and submits comprehensive labour market data for the ILO’s Yearbook of Labour Statistics. The ILO plays and important role in developing and coordinating statistics on especially employment, unemployment and prices.
In its capacity as the national statistical authority Statistics Denmark chairs the Coordination Committee for European Statistics. The Committee was set up in 2010 and originates from the EU Regulation on European Statistics (EC) No 223/2009. In accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 5 the national statistical authorities are responsible for coordinating all activities at national level for development, production and dissemination of European statistics and shall act as the contact point for the Commission (Eurostat) on statistical matters. In addition to Statistics Denmark, the Coordination Committee for European Statistics is composed of representatives from other national statistics producers in Denmark, compiling European statistics.
The tasks of the Coordination Committee for European Statistics are as follows:
- To ensure mutual exchange of information on:
a) New and ongoing European statistical initiatives with a view to coordinating activities for development, production and dissemination of European statistics,
b) Representation of Denmark in central European committees and councils in the Commission as well as the Council with a view to coordinating and harmonising activities.
- To contribute to answering the Commission’s general inquiries to the national European statistics producers.
- To take the initiative to cooperate and coordinate the production and dissemination of European statistics, taking place at Statistics Denmark and other national statistics producers, including the creation of frameworks for establishing cooperative forums, which can contribute to the exchange of ’best practice’.
- To discuss standards concerning independency, quality (relevance, accuracy, timeliness, punctuality, accessibility, comparability and coherence), confidentiality and response burden, which must be in accordance with national and international decisions and legislation.
- To discuss Danish standards with a view to ensuring a higher degree of internationally comparable statistics.