Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 192,5 million
The objective of this programme is to ensure the continuation of existing statistical support for decisions in current policy and the additional requirements arising from the new Community policy initiatives.


Economic and monetary union is imposing substantial demands on the supply of monetary, balance of payments and financial statistics for the Community. The Community should be able to have timely to statistical information comparable between the Member States which is up to date, reliable, pertinent and produced as efficiently as possible for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of its policies. The availability of up-to-date comparable statistics of good quality is often a necessary condition for implementing Community policies. In order to ensure the consistency and comparability of statistical information in the Community, there is a need to establish a five-year Community statistical programme, which identifies the approaches, the main fields and the objectives of the actions envisaged in respect of these priorities.

Taking account of the available resources of the national authorities and the Commission, this programme shall be guided by the principal Community policy priorities of:
- Economic and monetary union
- European Union enlargement
- Competitivity, sustainable development and the Social Agenda.

It shall also ensure the continuation of existing statistical support for decisions in current policy areas and the additional requirements arising from new Community policy initiatives.
EU Institutions and citizens need a factual means to assess the need for and progress of European policy initiatives. High quality statistical information is of primary importance in meeting this need. Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Communities) has as its main task the compilation and dissemination of relevant and timely information across a wide range of social, economic and environmental topics in support of existing and future policies of the EU. In an evolving e-Europe, statistical information has to be made available in a form and at a time when the user needs it. Thus during the period of this programme further efforts will need to be made to ensure that citizens have access to an increasing amount of basic information about economic, social and environmental developments in the EU. The ESS (European Statistical System) needs to further develop its structures and strategies to ensure that the system as a whole maintains and develops the necessary quality and effectiveness to meet all user needs.

The priorities for statistical work are managed according to four different categories of activity:

_ Community policy Requirements as defined by the Commission
- Economic and Monetary Union (EMU): all of the statistics required for Phase III EMU and the pact on stability and growth.
- EU enlargement: incorporating those areas of statistical indicators of primary importance for the accession negotiations and for the integration of candidate countries into the ESS.
- Competitivity, sustainable development and the social agenda: in particular, statistics on the labour market, environment, services, living conditions, migration and e-Europe.
- Structural Indicators to further consolidate the work as requested by the Lisbon summit.

_ Major projects to cover primary areas of work and subject to a formal project management approach
- Infrastructure work to consolidate the functioning of the ESS in a deepened and enlarged Europe.
- Specific projects (Statistics on the new economy, including domains such as the information society and innovation, statistics on research and development, including benchmarking of national RTD policies, short term statistics, indicators to support policies for sustainable development and social exclusion and poverty indicators.)

_ Statistical support to on-going policies
- Continuation of statistical activities, which support existing Community policy areas such as agriculture, regional policy, external trade etc.

_ Other areas
Other areas of statistical data collection not covered in the other 3 priority but nevertheless are required for policy purposes.


A summary of the European statistical requirements viewed from the perspective of the policy needs of the European Union, classified by the Titles identified in the Treaty on European Union as agreed in Amsterdam:
_ Title I - Free movement of goods

The new system should therefore be focused on the supply of results meeting Community needs in accordance with strict quality requirements in terms of coverage, reliability and availability. The content of the results should be defined in such a way as to simplify current requirements whilst taking account of how needs develop as European integration progresses. Action will also be taken to improve the reliability of import and export price statistics to allow the internal competitiveness of the Union's products to be measured more effectively. At the end of the five-year programme the Commission will have adapted and improved the systems of statistical measurement of the trade of goods between Member States and with third countries, taking into account the development of the information requirements and the economic and administrative environment.

_ Title II - Agriculture

- Agriculture
The main effort in the 2003-2007 five-year period will be, as in the programme 1998-2002, to operate the large set of statistics relevant to agriculture and to carry out essential maintenance. Particular attention will continue to be given to the environmental dimension, by developing statistics needed for analysing inter-linkage between agriculture and the environment, including the improvement of statistics on the use of fertilisers and pesticides, on organic farming and on action to maintain biodiversity and rural habitats.

- Forestry
In this area, particular attention has to be given to the maintenance and improvement of work with international organisations above all for the development of specific criteria and indicators required for environmental management and sustainable forest management. Also, information on sustainable management of timber-derived industries needs to be developed in parallel.

- Fisheries
The main effort in the coming years will be on consolidating and improving data flows (completeness, timeliness, consistency, comparability and accessibility) on the basis of existing legislation. The social and economic consequences of limiting the activities of fishing vessels and reducing the size of the EU fishing fleet is producing an increased demand for data on parameters to assess the social and economic situation. These developments are likely to be important elements in the re-negotiation of the CFP in 2002. Eurostat will follow these negotiations closely to ensure that its programme of fishery statistics continues to reflect the data needs of the CFP.

During the programme period the Commission will strive to:
- Apply the TAPAS scheme for progressive improvements to the existing set of agricultural statistics, mainly as far as quality, comparability, efficiency savings, simplification and timeliness are concerned;
- Plan the development of agricultural statistics with the aim of meeting the future needs of the CAP;
- Provide indicators for better integration of environmental considerations into the CAP and information on the consumer/welfare aspects of agriculture;
- Assist in the development of comparable data in candidate countries for accession to the EU;
- Consolidate, improve and extend (indicators) forestry statistics;
- Consolidate and improve the quality of fishery statistics.

_ Title III - Free Movement of Persons, Services and Capital

EU balance of payment statistics provide fairly detailed information on trade in services and direct investments. Statistics on the trade of foreign branches are currently being developed. Although all these statistics are being developed mainly in response to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and therefore to provide information on operations with countries outside the Community, the Member States consider it essential to continue to draw up a national balance of payments (therefore including intra-EU flows) even within economic and monetary union. Currently, the statistics produced cover both extra-EU and intra-EU trade and thus meet the needs of the single market. However there is a risk of uncertainty regarding this information. Also, the systems for collecting balance of payment data are currently being restructured (see Title VII). The Commission's needs in this area therefore need to be reassessed and redefined.

During the five-year period the Commission will strive to:
- Develop a stable and flexible set of indicators on globalisation.
- Develop a stable and flexible set of indicators on information society, including audiovisual services.
- Progress in the development of satellite accounts in the domain of tourism.

_ Title IV – Visas, Asylum, Immigration and other Policies related to the Free Movement of Persons

The Communication on a Community immigration policy emphasises that more information is needed about migration flows and patterns of migration into and out of the EU. The Communication on asylum states that establishing and implementing the common European asylum system requires an in-depth analysis on the scale of migratory flows, their origins, as well as analysis of the characteristics of applications for protection and the response to them. The Union's enlargement and the development of co-operation with the countries of the Mediterranean Basin will only reinforce the needs for statistical information in these fields.

During the five-year programme period the Commission will:
- Develop a more standardised nomenclature in the areas of migration and asylum in liaison with the national authorities.
- Enhance the range and quality of statistics in this field to meet the initial requirements contained in the Commission Communications on the subject.

_ Title V - Transport

Community statistics should constitute a comprehensive transport information system, including data on flows of goods and passengers, as well as on infrastructure, equipment, traffic flows, personal mobility, safety, energy consumption and environmental impact, as well as data on transport costs and prices, and on transport enterprises. A key objective will be to shift the balance between modes of transport, favouring rail and short-sea shipping over road transport, and thereby removing the existing coupling of economic growth with increased road traffic. It will be necessary to provide better statistics on modal split, covering passengers as well as freight, taking account of all modes of transport and improving timeliness aspects.

During the five-year period the Commission will strive:
- To complete the coverage of Community transport statistics across all modes of transport and all types of information;
- To continue to adapt and complete, where necessary, the legal basis for transport statistics;
- To promote the collection of additional statistics on inter-modal transport chains as well as those additional data
- Needed to monitor the integration of environmental considerations into transport policies (the TERM exercise).

_ Title VI - Common Rules on Competition, Taxation and Approximation of Laws

No direct statistical programme is required. Statistical information for this title is derived as needed from data and indicators generated for other titles in the programme.

_ Title VII - Economic and Monetary Policy

The implementation of Economic and Monetary Union requires very close statistical monitoring to support macroeconomic policy co-ordination and the monetary policy functions of the European System of Central Banks. The Stability and Growth Pact presents new statistical requirements. Meanwhile, measuring the extent of economic convergence achieved by Member States remains important.

During the five-year period the Commission will aim to:
- Pursue the development and production of statistics in the framework of the EMU Action Plan for the conduct of macroeconomic policy co-ordination and of monetary policy, for the Stability and Growth Pact and for the continued assessment of economic convergence;
- Intensify the implementation of the Regulation on the European System of Accounts (ESA 95);
- Revise the collection system for balance of payments statistics.

_ Title VIII - Employment

EU labour statistics development will be driven by the following political processes: EU enlargement, European employment strategy, economic and monetary union and the benchmarking exercise (with structural indicators to be presented every year in spring to the European Council). Labour statistics are largely governed by EU regulations. Thanks to this the candidate countries will have made major steps towards complying with EU requirements before 2003. Full compliance, regular data transmission and keeping pace with new developments will be the challenge during 2003-2007.

- Implementation of a continuous LFS providing quarterly results in all Member States;
- Harmonisation of part of the questionnaires;
- Collection/analysis of the results of the 2002 structure of earnings survey;
- Implementation of the 2004 labour cost survey covering NACE M-N-O;
- Full implementation of the Council Regulation on Labour Cost Index;
- Implementation of the 2006 structure of earnings survey;
- Designing a target system for European labour cost statistics;
- Implementation of the Council Regulation on the job vacancy survey to be adopted in 2002.

_ Title IX - Common Commercial Policy

Work will be pursued in the coming years in order to ensure that data on cross-border trade in services (both geographical breakdown and detail by components), foreign direct investment, and foreign affiliated trade maintain the quality standards, the level of detail, and the degree of harmonisation required by the Commission services in charge of conducting the commercial policy.

By the end of the five-year programme the Commission will have:
- Progressively integrated the candidate countries data;
- Adapted and improved the data collection and production systems;
- Improved and further developed the methodological framework taking into account the international recommendations, new information requirements and the development of the economic and customs environment;
- Enhanced the use of existing data and analysis on global sustainable development.

_ Title X - Customs Co-operation

No direct statistical programme is required. Statistical information for this title is derived as needed from data and indicators generated for other titles in the programme.

_ Title XI - Social Policy, Education, Vocational Training and Youth

During this period a coherent strategy will be developed to ensure the availability of a complete set of indicators covering all the social fields in close co-ordination with actions under Title VIII. The quality of existing information will be improved and new indicators are to be introduced to cover areas, which have been identified as a priority, such as social exclusion and lifelong learning.

During the five-year programme period the Commission will:
- Develop a coherent strategy that will ensure the availability of a complete set of indicators covering all the social fields;
- Provide regular information on living conditions of citizens through newly developed indicators.

_ Title XII – Culture

In the framework of the 2003-2007 Community Statistical Programme the priority for cultural statistics will be the consolidation of the pilot work on culture employment, participation in cultural activities and statistics on culture expenditure. The Statistical Programme will support methodological work and development of statistics related to the issue of returns on investing in culture. Particular attention will be given to the development of international methodologies which allow the statistical measurement and analysis of the impact that participation in cultural activities can have in contributing to social goals such as increasing educational levels and employment rates and reducing crime and inequalities in the health sphere.

During the five-year programme period the Commission will:
- Consolidate the existing statistical information on culture;
- Develop and implement methodologies to measure culture impacts in society.

_ Title XIII – Public Health

The general emphasis will be on reinforcement of the infrastructure for the basic system on public health statistics (at Member State and EU level), on harmonisation and improvement of the comparability of existing data in co-operation with international organisations competent in the field of public health (WHO and OECD). In order to ensure consistency and complementarity, specific action under the present programme will also be directed towards ensuring that basic concepts, definitions and classifications on health statistics will be used for the whole area of health information. In accordance with the relevant agreements with the countries concerned, the scope of statistics on public health will be progressively extended to cover all candidate countries.

During the five-year programme period the Commission will:
- Further develop the set of health statistics in order to respond to the specific requirements that may result from the action programme on public health;
- Reinforce the infrastructure for the basic system on public health statistics.

_ Title XIV – Consumer Protection

The purpose of Eurostat's efforts in this area is to provide statistical data generally interesting for the public to shed light on consumption and consumer issues at the European, national and regional levels.

During the five-year programme period the Commission will:
- Make statistics for consumer protection available in a more user-friendly format, in particular publications;
- Pursue the methodological support relating to injuries in the home;
- Raise the awareness of the subject consumer protection across all relevant statistical themes of work;
- Ensure that consumer protection aspects are taken into consideration for new statistical policies;
- Promote the development of statistics for consumer protection in the statistical services in the Member States.

_ Title XV – Trans-European Network

No direct statistical programme is required. Statistical information for this title is derived as needed from data and indicators generated for other titles in the programme.

_ Title XVI – Industry

Statistical work in the field of industry in the broad sense of the term (including, in particular, construction, services, energy and agri-foodstuffs) will be centred on support for the policies decided on the basis of the Treaty of Amsterdam, and at various summits held subsequently (in particular, the Lisbon Summit of March 2000). These developments are in particular planned for the areas globalisation, internal and external organisation of businesses (and more generally, the production system) as well as co-operation between businesses, the spirit of enterprise and governance, demand, and finally employment and human resources.
The first priority will be the implementation of the different regulations on business statistics. Particular emphasis will be placed on the quality of results.

- Energy
In the field of energy statistics, work will consist in improving the quality of energy balances, especially in the area of the consumption, in order to respond better to requirements arising from the GHG emissions monitoring mechanism. The present system will be extended in order to respond better to sustainable development issues (energy efficiency, co-generation, renewables), and the effectiveness of competition in liberalised markets and its impact on consumers and the energy industry will be followed up.

During the five-year programme period work will progress in the following areas:
- Improve the system for developing structural business statistics, based on political needs and with a capacity of quick reaction to changing factors such as environment, policies and users;
- Strive for maintaining the infrastructure needed such as business registers and classifications;
- Focus on the quality assessment and improvement of the data produced.

Title XVII – Economic and Social Cohesion

The work to be undertaken under the 2003-2007 statistical programme will, accordingly, be very largely determined by the shape of Community regional policy within an enlarged European Union, and by the arrival of the new programming period for the Structural Funds. The third Cohesion Report is scheduled for adoption by the Commission in early 2004, while its conclusions are due to be implemented (as draft Regulations) over the rest of that year. The information required will include population projections at regional level and data on regional demography.

During the five years work will progress in the following areas:
- Implement the statistical indicators required for the next phase of the structural funds;
- Provide the necessary data for the cohesion report and to support Commission proposals for the structural funds after 2006;
- Further integrate the use of geographical information systems for policy management.

_ Title XVIII – Research and Technological Development

All recent R & D and innovation policies have called for timely and harmonised data, the collection of which must be negotiated with the Member States and co-ordinated by Eurostat. Annual updates of the indicators for both initiatives will require more frequent surveys in Member States, as well as quality improvements. The ability to produce statistics on human resources in science and technology and by gender must be developed in order to provide policy makers with the necessary data to assess the effectiveness of related Community policies.

During the next five years, main efforts will be undertaken to:
- Improve the quality of existing indicators and continue the conceptual work leading to the production and further development of new indicators to benchmark national research and innovation policies, and in particular, to measure human resources and their mobility in research and development;
- Develop further statistics on R & D and innovation in the context of the European Research Area, and in particular, to develop a theoretical framework for more frequent R & D and innovation statistics;
- Develop a general framework for the measurement of the knowledge society;
- Measure the technological trends with harmonised statistics on patents;
- Associate the candidate countries in the overall framework of the development of harmonised and comparable R & D and innovation statistics.

_ Title XIX – Environment

The main objective of environment statistics is to serve as an efficient tool for implementation and evaluation of the environmental policy of the European Union. The main environmental priorities are covered under the Sixth Environmental Action Programme, the Sustainable Development Strategy and the Cardiff strategy of integration of environment into other sectoral policies.

The main effort in the next five years will be:
- To improve core environmental statistics, mainly waste, water and environmental expenditure statistics, with a focus on statistics needed for environmental indicators and to put in place the necessary legislation for such statistics;
- To produce easily understandable environmental and sustainability indicators in co-operation with other Commission services and the European Environment Agency;
- To continue work to produce an environmental component to socio-economic statistics, with the aim of responding to needs relating to indicators for integration of environmental and sustainability concerns into other policies;
- To continue work to add an environmental domain to national accounts, through regular production of a set of environmental accounts and to adapt them to the priority sustainability issues;
- To participate in reviewing reporting obligations and to continue the close co-operation with the European Environment Agency with co-ordinated actions and by making data collection by the two institutions complementary;
- To enhance data collection and analysis on global sustainable development.

_ Enlargement of the European Union

It is expected that accession negotiations will be completed with an accession treaty for a number of candidate countries during the validity of the 2003-2007 programme. For the follow-up and potential completion of these negotiations, the Commission must be able to draw on a complete set of reliable statistics, methodologically comparable with those of the European Union countries.

During the five-year period work will concentrate on:
- Consolidating the collection of harmonised data for negotiations and internal EU purposes;
- Continuing assistance to candidate countries and new members to improve their statistical systems to meet Community requirements, including early information about any new Community legislation.


The production of Community statistics within the legislative framework of the five-year programme is the responsibility of the national authorities at national level and of the Community authority (Eurostat) at Community level. In order to achieve this objective a close, coordinated and coherent cooperation between the Community authority (Eurostat) and the national authorities is necessary. To this effect, the Community authority (Eurostat) should ensure the coordination under various forms of the national authorities in a network representing the European Statistical System (EES) to assure the timely provision of statistics in support of EU policy needs. Detailed implementing measures for individual statistical actions may be entrusted to the European Statistical System by the Commission, which shall decide the objectives and the measures concerned.

The Commission is entrusted to execute certain implementing or execution tasks as they are defined in acts concerning individual statistical actions. Consideration may be given as to whether certain of these tasks currently performed at Commission level could be executed, for example, by a specialised implementing body. During the third year of implementation of the programme the Commission shall prepare an intermediate report showing its stage of development and present it to the Statistical Programme Committee. At the end of the period covered by the programme the Commission, after consulting the Statistical Programme Committee, shall present an appropriate evaluation report on the implementation of the programme, taking into account the views of independent experts. That report is to be completed by the end of 2008 and subsequently submitted to the European Parliament and the Council.
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