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European Statistics Code of Practice..

What is the European Statistics Code of Practice?

The Code defines principles to follow for the institutions of the European Statistical System (ESS). It is one basis of the joint quality framework of the European Statistical System, along with two other components. These are:

Content of the Code

The Code covers 3 main areas, the institutional environment, the statistical data production process and the statistical outputs. Within these three areas it defines its requirements in 16 principles, specifying their description in a total of 84 indices.

Institutional environment

Principle 1:Professional independence
Principle 1bis:Coordination and cooperation
Principle 2:Mandate for data collection and access to data
Principle 3:Adequacy of resources
Principle 4:Commitment to quality
Principle 5:Statistical confidentiality and data protection
Principle 6:Impartiality and objectivity

Statistical processes

Principle 7:Sound methodology
Principle 8:Appropriate statistical procedures
Principle 9:Non-excessive burden on respondents
Principle 10:Cost effectiveness

Statistical output

Principle 11:Relevance
Principle 12:Accuracy and reliability
Principle 13:Timeliness and punctuality
Principle 14:Coherence and comparability
Principle 15:Accessibility and clarity

European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP) (2017)

Objectives of the Code

The Code highlights for the users of statistics the criteria guaranteeing the independence, impartiality of the institution and the data produced by it; by enumerating certain aspects of data production processes and the quality of the products it reveals the demands that may be drawn from these. By complying with the Code users’ trust increases, and supports the respondents’ trust in the statistical system by presenting in detail the expectations regarding data protection and defines demands in regard to respondents’ burden.

Expert inspection for compliance with the Code of Practice

The existing system for the control of complying with the formulated principles developed gradually. At present It contains the elements below:

  • a standard self-assessment questionnaire that is completed by the statistical office and other selected EU data producing institutions of the given country prior to the peer review;
  • an on-the-spot peer review that is conducted by a group of experts; as a result of this, the institutions of the statistical system under review receive a list of recommendations;
  • based on the recommendations their own plan for improvement actions is generated;
  • statistical offices compile a report on an annual basis about the fulfilment of the improvement actions.

Who are performing the expertise?

A delegation of specialists from EU Member States, the four members of which are specialised in statistics, audit methodology and management.

Reports on Hungary completed so far, based on the peer reviews:


Applying the Code

Act CLV of 2016 on Official statistics states that the official statistical activity of the Official Statistical Service members must be performed, based on the Regulation on European Statistics, in accordance with the European Statistical System, where the members of the Official Statistical Service must comply all the time with the principles laid down in the European Statistics Code of Practice and in Section (3) of the Act.

In line with all these, the Act on Statistics defines the principles the official statistical activity must consider. The detailed content of these principles is to be found in the National Statistics Code of Practice.

The National Statistics Code of Practice is compiled and published by the President of the HCSO in cooperation – following a consultation – with the National Statistical Council and National Statistical Co-ordination Board.

National Statistics Code of Practice

Further information on the Eurostat website:

European Statistics Code of Practice - Quality - Eurostat (europa.eu)

European quality standards - Quality - Eurostat (europa.eu)

Quality Assurance Framework

Peer reviews - Quality - Eurostat (europa.eu)