In Riga, a high-level seminar in statistics of Eastern European, Caucasian and Central Asian (EECCA) countries discussed the draft Generic Statistical Law. The law will strengthen the institutional independence of statistical offices of the EECCA countries, impartiality of official statistics, and conformity with the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and the European Statistics Code of Practice. Representatives from the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), the UN Economic Commission for Europe, the European Free Trade Association and the national statistical institutions of EECCAA countries took part in the drafting of the Law.
Pieter Everaers, Director of the Directorate of Cooperation in the European Statistical System, International Cooperation and Resources of Eurostat, indicates:
"To implement its rights and interests, the society needs high quality and impartial statistics, which is one of the cornerstones of a democratic society. We can see that a few of EECCA countries still act according to planned economy principles. However, they are gradually integrating into worldwide statistical system, following the international recommendations, classifications and standards. High-level seminars have enhanced the understanding of official statistics principles and the transfer of best practice to the national statistical institutions of EECCA countries.
European Union not only provides society with high-quality official statistics, but also cooperates with the rest of the world improving their data quality. The EU policy-makers ask for data characterising cross-border cooperation on a regular basis, therefore, we are supporting the EECCA countries in the formation of official statistics and the improving of methodology to ensure that data provided by the EECCA countries and Eurostat are comparable."
Claudia Junker, Head of Unit "Statistical Cooperation" at Eurostat, emphasises:
"High-level seminar in statistics is very important for EECCA countries, because they actively follow the EU practice in official statistics. It is our responsibility to provide support to the EECCA countries to implement official statistics principles and revise their statistical laws in line with the Generic Statistical Law. The Generic Statistical Law emphasises the need to ensure professional independence and impartiality of the statistical institutions of EECCA countries."
The seminar reflects one of the priorities of the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council – Engaged Europe, promoting transmission of best practice of the European Union to other countries.
The next seminar of the EECCA countries will take place in September 2016. In August 2015, the Editorial Board will review comments and suggestions on the improvement of Generic Statistical Law submitted by the countries in Yerevan, Armenia. It is planned to finalise and publish the law in autumn 2015.
*EECCA countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
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