Heads of the EFTA National Statistical Institutes set priorities for the year ahead

Published 25-05-2023
Front, L-R: Hrafnhildur Arnkelsdóttir, Statistics Iceland; Michel Di Pietro, ESO; Muriel Meister-Gampert, Statistics Switzerland. Back, L-R: Ólafur Arnar Þórðarson, Statistics Iceland; Simon Gstöhl, Statistics Liechtenstein; Marius Andersen, ESO; Vidar Lund, Statistics Norway; Benjamin Rothen, Statistics Switzerland.

Coherent and comparable statistics between the EFTA States and the European Union (EU) benefit citizens, businesses, public administrations, and research institutions in the four EFTA States as they provide answers to questions on matters such as the evolution of the economy, the standard of living, and the environmental status of a given sector. Ensuring effective statistical cooperation between the EFTA States and the EU thus topped the agenda of this year’s annual meeting of the Heads of the Working Group of EFTA National Statistical Institutes on 24 May 2023.

The meeting took place under the Icelandic chairmanship and was attended by representatives from all four EFTA Member States. It was hosted by the EFTA Statistical Office (ESO) in Luxembourg. The Working Group set priorities for the year ahead and reviewed the state of statistical cooperation between the EFTA States and the EU.

“Cooperation is at the heart of the European Statistical System, providing our societies with high- quality comparable statistics,“ said Hrafnhildur Arnkelsdóttir, the Director General of Statistics Iceland.

The EFTA representatives and ESO are also attending the meeting of the European Statistical System Committee (ESSC) on 25-26 May, organised by the European Commission (Eurostat). Other attendees include the National Statistical Institutes of EU Member States and observers from various organisations such as the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB), European Statistical Advisory Committee (ESAC), European Central Bank (ECB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). The ESSC meeting plays a crucial role in shaping and advising on the European Statistical landscape, ensuring the effectiveness and quality of European statistics through collaboration and consultation.

The Working Group of EFTA National Statistical Institutes assists in the information and consultation process on new EU legislation in the field of statistics to be incorporated in the EEA Agreement. It was established in 1994 under the Standing Committee of the EFTA States in the framework of the EEA Agreement.


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