What is ESS?

Since the early days of the European Community, it was evident that decisions as well as the planning and implementation of the Community policies must be based on reliable and comparable statistics. The European Statistical System (ESS) has been developed gradually with the aim of providing comparable statistics at the EU level.

The ESS is a partnership between the holder of European statistics, Eurostat, national statistical institutes and other national statistical authorities responsible for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics in each Member State. The partnership includes EEA and EFTA countries.

Member States collect data and compile statistics for national purposes, but also for the purposes of the European Union. The ESS functions as a network in which Eurostat harmonises statistics in close cooperation with national statistical institutes. The work of the ESS focuses mainly on statistics for EU policy areas. Given the expanding scope of European policies, the scope of European statistics is also expanding to a number of thematic areas.

The ESS activities also include cooperation with non-EU countries that want to adopt European standards in the context of national official statistics. This cooperation is particularly important for the countries aspiring to join the EU. The ESS cooperation contributes to the development of international statistics.

The European Statistical System provides the following information via its website:
  • interesting information for all ESS partners, such as information on meetings, announcements of events and conferences, training opportunities, vacancies and publications
  • corporate data on ESS partners, such as their organisational structure, data relating to management and practical information.