The Working Group of the Heads of National Statistical Institutes is responsible for legislation contained in Annex XXI of the EEA Agreement. The legal basis for statistical cooperation in the EEA is Article 76 of the EEA Agreement, while Protocol 30 contains specific provisions for the organisation of the cooperation. The EFTA Statistical Office (ESO) serves as the secretariat for the Working Group.
Protocol 30 establishes that the EEA EFTA States can participate fully, without the right to vote, in EU committees and bodies that assist the European Commission in the management or development of programmes and actions. The EEA EFTA States participate in the European Statistical System Committee (ESSC) and in Eurostat working groups and task forces in all statistical domains. This allows the EEA EFTA States to take part in shaping legislation and statistical programmes at an early stage. Protocol 30 also defines the mutual obligations of the National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) of the EEA EFTA States and of Eurostat to respectively provide statistical information and to publish statistics on the EEA EFTA States through Eurostat’s regular dissemination channels.
According to Protocol 30, all main fields of the European Statistical Programme shall be considered to be relevant for the EEA statistical cooperation and shall be open for full participation by the EFTA States. A specific EEA Annual Statistical Work Programme, developed jointly by ESO on behalf of the EEA EFTA States and Eurostat, defines the statistical activities for which the EEA EFTA States are entitled to apply for Commission grants and tenders.
An important legal act in the field of statistics is Regulation (EC) 223/2009 on European statistics as amended by Regulation (EU) 2015/759, often referred to as “the European Statistical Law”. This regulation establishes the framework for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics. Notably, it contains provisions for the governance of the European Statistical System (ESS), including the European Statistics Code of Practice.
More than 300 statistical acts are currently in force in the EEA. These acts cover all statistical domains, like population and social statistics, macroeconomic statistics, business statistics, international trade statistics, environmental statistics and agricultural statistics.
For detailed information, please visit the following links:
- EEA Agreement
- Protocol 30 of the EEA Agreement
- Annex XXI of the EEA Agreement: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
- Decision Shaping
- EFTA/EU Statistical Cooperation Handbook