This peer review of Eurostat, the third of its kind, evaluated Eurostat’s adherence to the European Statistics Code of Practice (ES CoP). This peer review is part of the third round of European Statistical System (ESS) peer reviews, aimed at assessing Eurostat’s and the national statistical institutes’ compliance with the Code of Practice.
The report concludes that Eurostat has progressed a lot over a range of criteria that are relevant for the production of high-quality European statistics. Furthermore, ESGAB identified Eurostat’s strengths in relation to its compliance with the Code of Practice, and put forward 18 recommendations focused on preparing for future challenges and on being a role model for independence and impartiality in the ESS. In particular, the recommendations refer to developing a comprehensive strategy of cooperation with academia, facilitating access to microdata for analytical purposes while developing privacy-protecting techniques, as well as expanding the frontiers of European official statistics through innovation and experimental statistics based on new data sources and modeling techniques. ESGAB also recommends that Eurostat further improves the dissemination and communication of data and statistics in the light of the “new world of information overflow”, including through publishing information on data revision policy.
An important precondition for expanding and modernising the products and services for users of official statistics is that National Statistical Institutes and Eurostat gain sustainable access to new – “big” – data sources that are predominantly privately owned. In this regard, ESGAB recommends that the upcoming EU Data Act establish a permanent path for such access.
Most of the necessary efforts to meet the challenges of the new world of data will require additional resources, both financial as well as human. ESGAB calls on EU policymakers at different levels to meet these needs in the interest of strengthening official statistics as a bulwark against disinformation, further reducing the burden on enterprises of traditional data collection, making statistics more promptly available, and covering new areas of society by statistics.
Eurostat is following up this peer review by drawing up an action plan on how to implement the report’s recommendations.