Europe Assuring quality: Code of practice for European statistics

European official statistics are based on principles laid down in the European Statistics Code of Practice (revised third version, November 2017).

It comprises 16 principles for the institutional framework of statistics production, the statistical processes and the statistical products. The purpose of the Code of Practice is to ensure that official statistics are produced free from political interference and in accordance with recognised scientific methods in all 27 EU Member States and at the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat).

The Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) concretises the principles of the Code of Practice and supports their implementation by allocating quality assurance activities, methods and tools to the individual Code of Practice indicators. These activities, methods and tools facilitate uniform application by creating a systematic relationship between the principles and indicators on the one hand and, on the other, the methods required for their implementation.

In order to ensure this commitment to quality, there is the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB) in the European Statistical System (ESS). The Board advises the Commission (Eurostat) on measures that contribute to the application of the Code of Practice. It also advises the Commission in terms of updating the Code of Practice and proposes measures aimed at enhancing its awareness among users and respondents. Consisting of high-level statistical experts, the Advisory Board submits annual reports to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.