What is ESS?

Since the early days of the Community it was realised that decisions as well as 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 objective of providing comparable statistics at the EU level.

The ESS is the partnership between the Community statistical authority, which is the Commission (Eurostat), national statistical institutes (NSIs) and other national authorities in each Member State in charge of the development, production and dissemination of the European statistics. This partnership also includes the EEA and EFTA countries. The 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. The ESS work concentrates mainly on EU policy areas - but, with the extension of EU policies, harmonization has been extended to nearly all statistical fields.

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

On its website the ESS it also provides the following information:

• News of interest to all ESS partners, such as appointments, upcoming meetings and conferences, training opportunities, vacancies and publications

• Corporate information about the ESS partners, such as their organisational structure, management issues and practical information


Legal framework

Legal framework for the development, production and dissemination of the European statistics is defined by the Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on European statistics and repealing Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1101/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality to the Statistical Office of the European Communities, Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 on Community Statistics, and Council Decision 89/382/EEC, Euratom establishing a Committee on the Statistical Programmes of the European Communities.

All European Community statistical legislation in force is available online. Updated information is provided on the Eurostat website.

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 refers to the European statistics

Regulation (EC) No 2533/98 refers to collecting information from the European Central Bank


European Statistics Code of Practice

The official European statistics is regulated by principles, included in the Code of Practice (CP), which tends to ensure the quality and credibility of data.

The European Statistics Code of Practice is based on 15 principles covering the institutional environment, the statistical production processes and the output of statistics. A set of indicators of good practice provides for each principle a reference for reviewing the implementation of the Code. The quality criteria for the European Statistics are defined in the European Statistical Law1. Statistical authorities2, comprising the Commission (Eurostat), national statistical institutes and other national authorities responsible for the development, production and dissemination of the European Statistics3, together with governments, ministries and the European Council, commit themselves to adhere to the Code. The principles of the Code of Practice together with the general quality management principles represent a common quality framework in the European Statistical System.

1) Regulation (EC) 223/2009, Article 12

2) Regulation (EC) 223/2009, Articles 4 and 5

3) Regulation (EC) 223/2009, Article 1. In the Code of Practice, "other national authorities responsible for the development, productions and dissemination of European Statistics" are referred to as "other statistical authorities"


European statistical data

Eurostat offers more than 300 million statistical data on its website, which are available in predefined tables, databases, publications, methodologies and other useful links.

At the Eurostat website one can access data, publications and information, download them free of charge 24/7 in three languages: English, German and French.

Users can find comparable and harmonized data for the EU Member States as well as aggregated data for the European Union as a whole (EU-28 countries), EU-15, EU-25 and euro-zone. Moreover, users can access data of the EFTA countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein), candidate countries (Montenegro, FYROM, Serbia, Turkey), chosen New Independent Countries of the former Soviet Union as well as USA and Japan data.


How to access data

There are many ways to access the European data (Eurostat). Users in search of more basic data can find them in the form of predefined tables. Advanced users and experts can find more complex data through the database, where they can define/choose variables/data (in that way they thenselves form their request). Researchers have a possibility of accessing a set of microdata.

As a help in reaching a variety of data of the European statistics, Eurostat offers demo versions in order to facilitate searching of their databases.

By using this link Eurostat enables you to easily access the largest data base of the European data.


User help: How to browse the Eurostat website

Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union. Eurostat collects data from the national statistical institutes and publishes official harmonised statistics of the European Union, Eurozone, EU Member States and EU candidate countries and ensures a comparable, reliable and objective insight of changes in Europe

Croatian Bureau of Statistics closely cooperates with Eurostat. Besides delivering our national statistical data to Eurostat we also help our users to access European statistics and provide user support in the Croatian language.

Providing free access to data, Eurostat, in cooperation with national statistical institutes, has founded a network of national centres called the European Statistical Data Support (ESDS). ESDS centre of the Croatian Bureau of Statistics provides free of charge service that helps users find statistical information at the Eurostat website.

One must be registered in order to use ESDS service. ESDS service does not include special data processing.

Here is a short description of services Eurostat provides:

Eurostat Website

The Eurostat website provides free of charge online access to all its statistical databases and associated electronic publications. Eurostat databases cover the European Union, the EU Member States, the euro-zone, candidate countries and EFTA countries and very often also comparable data from other major players (US, Canada, Japan, Russia, etc.).

In the Statistics section data are organized by EU policy indicators and by themes, including detailed background information. You can also use search to enter any keyword(s) relevant to the data you wish to find.

News Releases

Latest European data are published as news releases, covering the euro-indicators (GDP, inflation, unemployment etc.) and other statistical themes (agriculture, environment, social topics, regions, research and development etc.). In the Release Calendar you can find the provisional dates of publication of the euro-indicators for the whole year.

Eurostat news releases can be followed also on Twitter.

Statistics Explained

Each set of statistics produced by Eurostat is described by one or several statistical articles in Statistics Explained. This online Wikipedia-style tool is an encyclopaedia on European Union statistics, a portal to further information for occasional and for regular users and a statistical glossary.

Each statistical article includes links to relevant data tables and publications in the "Further Eurostat information" section.

Main tables

To access predefined tables with data on EU policy indicators and statistics by theme, select a theme from the statistics section and follow the "main tables" link in the left navigation.

Data in Main tables are presented through a Tables, Graphs and Maps (TGM) tool. This TGM tool provides downloads and prints of tables, graphs and maps with three dimensional data (indicator, time and country).

Statistics Database

All data, collected by Eurostat, are available in the Statistical Database, which is a goldmine of information on EU member countries and other economies. It includes both pre-defined tables and detailed data tables where you can make your own data selection and extract tables.

The Statistics Database has its own search engine which helps you to find all the datasets containing your keyword(s) in the heading or description of the dataset.


Eurostat's publications are organized in collections and available online free of charge in PDF format, while the paper version can be ordered directly through the EU Bookshop and the network of local sales agents.

Publications by theme on the Eurostat website can be accessed by selecting the theme in the Statistics section and following the "Publications" menu on the left.

Free registration

As a registered user on the Eurostat Website, you can receive tailor-made e-mail alerts informing you of new publications as soon as they are online and access enhanced functionalities of the databases (customize the navigation tree, bulk download).

To register and/or login, follow the user icon in the website navigation ( ).

Demo Tours

Demo Tours show you how to navigate through the Eurostat Website and how to extract data from the various Eurostat databases.

User Support

If you can't find required information on the Eurostat website, or if you are searching for additional information, please consult the user support page. User support in Croatian language is managed by Croatian Bureau of Statistics in close cooperation with Eurostat.

User support provides information about whether requested EU data and information are available and where to find them on the Eurostat website, helps with verification of data, provides additional information on methodology and helps solving technical issues.

Working hours of the user support in Croatian language:

- Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m to 4 p.m.

Contact information:

Croatian Bureau of Statistics
Frane Petrića Street 2/mezannine
phone: (+385 1) 48 06 154,
fax: (+385 1) 48 06 148
on-line requests:
Data request form
User support - Eurostat

Copyright/Licence policy

Except where otherwise stated, downloading and reproduction of Eurostat data/documents for personal use or for further non-commercial or commercial dissemination are authorised provided appropriate acknowledgement is given to Eurostat as the source.

Please consult information on licence policy for different Eurostat products on the Eurostat website.



ESS Report 2015

The ESS report 2015 explains its organisation and presents an overview of its key initiatives in 2015. Several articles talk about the importance of further development of the indicator terminology and methodology in order to use them for the measurement of society and several articles address the migration statistics. Martti Hetemäki, the new President of the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB), emphasized the role of the board, the importance of the peer review and the importance of mutual cooperation of National Statistical Institutes and statisticians while Aija Žigure and Serge Allegrezza, the Presidents of the Statistical Institutes of Latvia and Luxembourg, summarised the main results of the European Council Presidencies held by their countries last year. Also, the second round of the peer reviews 2013-2015 is described as well as their importance and the lessons learned along with the experiences from Estonia and Norway. The report also features contributions from individual Member States on the above mentioned topics.


Framework Regulation Integrating Business Statistics (FRIBS)

Eurostat is developing a cross-cutting legal framework for the systematic collection, compilation, transmission and dissemination of statistics related to the structure, economic activity, competitiveness, global transactions and performance of the European business sector.

Within the analysis of the impact of envisaged changes, Eurostat launched a public consultation to collect the views of businesses regarding the supply of data for compiling business statistics and the information from the users of business statistics on how to match the statistics produced with users’ needs better. Data providers and data users are invited to participate in the survey by filling out the appropriate questionnaire. The questionnaires are available at: