Since the early days of the Community it was realised that decisions on and planning and implementation of Community policies must be based on reliable and comparable statistics. So the European Statistical System (ESS) was built up gradually with the objective of providing comparable statistics at EU level. To view the ESS website press the link

The ESS is the partnership between the Community statistical authority, which is the Commission (Eurostat), and the national statistical institutes (NSIs) and other national authorities responsible in each Member State for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics. This Partnership also includes the EEA and EFTA countries (video).

Member States collect data and compile statistics for national and EU purposes. The ESS functions as a network in which Eurostat's role is to lead the way in the harmonization of statistics in close cooperation with the national statistical authorities. ESS work concentrates mainly on EU policy areas - but, with the extension of EU policies, harmonization has been extended to nearly all statistical fields. NSIs operate under legal provisions of the European Union:  

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council – European statistics - New legal framework. OJ L 87, 31.3.2009, p. 164
as amended by:
Regulation (EU) 2015/759 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics. (2) OJ L 123, 19.5.2015, p. 90–97.

On 29 April 2015 this Regulation was amended  by the Regulation (EU) 2015/759 of the European Parliament and of the Council and you can access its consolidated version on

The ESS also coordinates its work with candidate countries, and at European level with other Commission services, agencies and the ECB and international organisations such as OECD, the UN, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

In order to ensure the quality of statistical information and its own activities, NSIs follow the provisions of the Quality Declaration of the European Statistical System (ESS) (PDF) and the European Statistics Code of Practice (PDF) (for more information on the ESS quality requirements please see the Eurostat's quality website).

Since 2012 the annual ESS report is published each year.

The main purpose of the ESS report will be to enhance the visibility of the ESS and to give an overview of the most important achievements of the ESS over the last year. The report should also serve as a general accountability report and, therefore, be understandable for a wide public.

Eurostat publishes official harmonized statistics on the European Union and the euro area and offers a comparable, reliable and objective portrayal of a changing Europe. All Eurostat data are available free of charge on its website.

To ease understanding and enhance usability of EU statistics, a common set of tables available in national languages is released on NSI websites – the Lithuanian version is accessible via

European Statistical User Support centres have been established in nearly all Member States as well as in some EFTA countries. Their mission is to provide help to Internet users of European statistical data in the national language. The Eurostat website's key notions and schematic view in the national language are available at

Document updated: 2022-06-08