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Code of Practice for European Statistics

The purpose of the Code of Practice for European Statistics is to improve trust and confidence in the European Statistical System and to ensure that all producers of official statistics in the EU apply the best international statistical principles and methods. The Code of Practice is put forward in a communication from the Commission and was endorsed by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN). The political authorities and the statistical authorities in the EU have committed themselves to comply with the principles in the Code of Practice to ensure independent statistics of high quality.

The Code of Practice entered into force in 2005 and was revised in 2011. The focus of the revision was in particular centred on the greater requirements concerning independence and quality management of the statistical authorities.

The Code of Practice is based on 15 principles broken down into 3 main areas, i.e. Institutional Environment, Statistical Processes and Statistical Output. For each of the 15 principles a range of indicators are connected to the implementation of the Code.

Institutional Environment

  • Professional independence
  • Mandate for data collection
  • Adequacy of resources
  • Commitment to quality
  • Statistical confidentiality
  • Impartiality and objectivity

Statistical Processes

  • Sound methodology
  • Appropriate statistical procedures
  • Non-excessive burden on respondents
  • Cost effectiveness

Statistical Output

  • Relevance
  • Accuracy and reliability
  • Timeliness and punctuality
  • Coherence and comparability
  • Accessibility and clarity

In 2008 the European Parliament and the Council established the Statistical Governance Advisory Board as an independent board responsible for providing an impartial assessment of the implementation of the Code of Practice.

ESGAB's website

The ESGAB prepares an annual report on compliance with the Code of Practice. On the basis of the so-called peer reviews conducted in each Member State, and surveys conducted by the ESGAB in the Member Statistics, the annual reports provide a current assessment of the implementation and compliance with the Code of Practice. In Denmark the peer review was conducted in 2007, when an assessment was made by a delegation of experts concerning the Danish statistical system, and Danish producers of European statistics were interviewed.

The Danish Peer Review

Danish report on compliance with the European Statistics Code Of Practice, June 2017


Bettina Steen Brix