European Code of practice

The goal of the European Statistics Code of Practice   is to ensure the public's trust in European statistics by laying down principles on how the statistics shall be developed, produced and disseminated.


The European Statistical System Committee adopted Code of Practice the  on 28 September 2011. The Code is intended for the European statistical institutions like Eurostat and the European Central Bank, for national statistical institutes as well as other statistical bodies in charge of producing European official statistics.

The Code of Practice is mainly unchanged since its original version from 2005. The current version, however, puts more emphasis on the statistical institution's independency and the quality of the statistics.


The Code is anchored in Regulation No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on European statistics (PDF) (the European Statistical Law). The European Statistical Law has been adopted as a regulation pursuant to the Norwegian Statistics Act.

The Code of Practice is more concrete and detailed than the UN's Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics. It consists of 15 principles covering the institutional environment, statistical processes and outputs. A set of indicators of good practice for each of the Principles provides a reference for reviewing the implementations of the Code. The relationship between the principles in the Code and a quality model where distinction is made between quality related to institutions, processes and outputs is illustrated in the figure below.


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) operate with a somewhat different set of quality dimensions, but the main elements are the same as those covered by the European Statistics Code of Practice. In addition, the UN's principles are more explicit with regard to statistics as an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, and the statistical institutes' need to make decisions according to strictly professional considerations, including scientific principles and professional ethics.