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Third meeting of the Council Working Party on Statistics under the Lithuanian Presidency

 

The third meeting of the Council Working Party on Statistics (CWPS) under the Lithuanian Presidency was held in Brussels on Thursday, 10 October 2013.

The 1st issue on the meeting agenda was the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EU) No 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts and examination of the Presidency compromise proposal. The CWPS continued the examination of the dossier and succeeded in its finalisation. The presentation of the draft EP report is foreseen on 24 October, adoption of the report – 27–28 November 2013. The Presidency will prepare and circulate the outcome paper and address Member States for consultations on EP amendments in December. Negotiations can be planned for January 2014.

The 2nd item on the agenda was the status of the Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics. The Presidency takes the view that any consideration should be based on the mandate agreed by Coreper on 10 April 2013, a view that was stressed by a large number of delegations. The Council Legal Service provided a legal opinion on Article 6a on 30 September. With this in view, the Presidency prepared a report with proposals on Art. 6a, Art. 5a par. 2 and par. 4 to be discussed in the October CWPS meeting and is in the process to gauge the Parliament's willingness to reconsider the earlier agreement in order to reach an agreement in the first reading. The CWPS supported a slightly amended proposal on Art. 6a and Art. 5a par. 4 but rejected the proposal for amending Art. 5a par. 2. The agreed text is currently under fine-tuning.

The afternoon session started with the 3rd item on the agenda – the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the provision and quality of statistics for the macroeconomic imbalances procedure (MIP). The Council Legal Service intervened with an opinion on certain legal issues, followed by the ECB presenting its opinion on the issue orally, and, finally, the Commission presented a non-paper on MIP. The article-by-article examination is planned to start from Chapter I in the November CWPS meeting.

Under AOB, the status of the European statistical programme 2013–17 was presented. On 2 October, Coreper II by means of an I-item (no discussion) approved the text as agreed in the CWPS and provided the Presidency mandate for negotiations with the EP. Mr Zalba Bidegain was appointed as a rapporteur for this dossier. The Draft Committee Report was published on 8 October; the vote on the Report in the ECON Committee is scheduled for 18 November 2013. A short written consultation is foreseen afterwards in November, with trilogues anticipated end November/December.

The 2nd issue under AOB was information on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the labour force survey (LFS). The vote on the draft report in the EMPL Committee is foreseen on 17 October. As agreed under the IE Presidency, the Lithuanian Presidency will prepare an update of the comparative table with a view to analysing the EP EMPL report and consulting the delegations on their positions concerning the EP amendments. The incorporation of data collection on discrimination is still problematic; however, the EP seems to be flexible on how to achieve the objective of collecting this information. Other items are of a more technical nature. Afterwards, Coreper has to be approached for the mandate to start negotiations, and the 1st informal trilogue is envisaged on 27 November.

The 3rd issue under AOB was information on the Extrastat, for which hearing was launched, with the deadline for comments on 14 October 2013. It is planned to start discussions on this file in the 8 November CWPS meeting.

The next CWPS meeting is scheduled for 8 November 2013.

The progress on different legislative dossiers is published online (eu2013.stat.gov.lt)