The availability of impartial and reliable statistical information is widely considered as a prerequisite for a democratic society and a necessary condition for the smooth running of a competitive market economy. Thus, EFTA and the EU have a common interest in assisting countries neighbouring the enlarged EEA to develop their statistical methods and standards in line with international norms.
The overall objective of EFTA technical cooperation in the field of statistics is to promote and develop close links between the EFTA States and Eurostat and other international organisations in a number of programmes for technical cooperation in the field of statistics. Through such cooperation, EFTA is seeking active and visible participation in the planning, execution and revision of EFTA/EU projects.
EFTA gives priority to countries that have concluded Declarations on Cooperation or Free Trade Agreements with EFTA. Support is mainly granted to developing countries and economies in transition in the Balkans and Mediterranean regions, and to recent and prospective partner countries to the eastern boundary of the enlarged EU.
Technical cooperation between EFTA States and Eurostat is based on a Memorandum of Understanding, including the provision of Seconded National Experts.
Statistical cooperation with Mediterranean countries - the MEDSTAT Programme