Eurostat’s use of the fundamental principles of information and dissemination
Contribution for UN/NY
To make its statistics transparent and accessible to all users on an equal basis, Eurostat has introduced a series of best practices in the field of information and dissemination:
- The main principles applied to dissemination are the following:
- free availability of general statistical information on the internet,
- standard products as well as tailor made products and services available against payment,
- conclusion of licenses with professional redisseminators and of contracts with external co-editors,
- possibility to conclude copyright contracts.
- The basic strategy is to disseminate statistical information simultaneously through various supports, an increasing emphasis being put on electronic dissemination.
- The main pillar of dissemination is the Eurostat web site - in English, French and German - updated daily with EUR-11 and EU15 indicators, news releases and information about new publications, services and Eurostat’s activities, accessible free of charge. There is an on-line catalogue, a detailed description of the dissemination network for European statistics, including the Eurostat Data Shops, as well as links to national and international statistical institutes. Registered users are informed automatically about new information and products. Publications and data may be ordered directly on the server. Address of the server: http//europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat.
- An extensive network of Eurostat Data Shops, located in most Member States and in several third countries, has been developed, usually in close collaboration with the National Statistical Institutes. The Data Shops sell publications and data to their users, while also providing a wide range of tailor-made services: up-to-date products, information searches, data calculation on request etc. The network is assisted at Eurostat by a central ‘Data Shop Support’, itself working in close contact with statistical experts.
Through the Data Shops users have full access to data stored in Eurostat’s data bases, which are updated regularly: New Cronos (macro-economic, social, demographic statistics and data on environment, research and development), Comext (intra- and extra-EU-trade), Regio (regional statistics), Eurofarm (agricultural statistics) and Europroms (output, external trade and markets of industrial products). Data are collected in close collaboration with EU Member States, third countries and international organisations and aggregated by Eurostat.
- In order to streamline its publications, reducing at the same time their number, Eurostat has created different series, especially ‘Statistics in Focus’ offering short, up-to-date summaries (8 pages) of the main results of statistical surveys, ‘Panorama of the European Union’ highlighting multi-sectoral features , ‘Key indicators’ presenting main indicators on a single theme and ‘Methods and nomenclatures’ detailing statistical working procedures. Publications are pre-programmed annually. They are disseminated through the Data Shops and the network of the Publication Office of the European Communities.
- All data in Eurostat publications, except for the results of some specific surveys, are included in the databases at the time of the dissemination of the publication.
- A calendar, updated every Friday, gives advance notice of the publication of euro-indicators, assessing the economic situation in the euro-zone and in the EU, with provisional dates for three months and final dates for the coming week. A weekly calendar with final dates is transmitted to the media. Links are available on the Internet server to the calendars of National Statistical Institutes.
- News releases - issued in English, French and German - provide information on the ‘euro-indicators’, but also on a variety of other items in connection with publications. They are issued at 12.00 CET during the daily briefing organised by the European Commission in Brussels for accredited journalists. They are disseminated at the same time via the Internet server and to journalists registered on the Eurostat mailing list (more than 1200). The news releases are validated by the Director General of Eurostat or, in his absence, by the director responsible for the information.
- A series of news agencies, having signed a specific contract, receive the euro-indicators news releases at 11.00 under a special embargo system, with the condition not to disseminate any information before the official release time.
- To help journalists, Eurostat has created the special service "Media Support", researching data for journalists. Taking into account the working constraints of journalists, the aim is to offer rapid replies, at latest within 24 hours. News releases and publications are offered free of charge to journalists. Data research is free of charge up to a value of euro 200. Publications are available electronically and free of charge for registered journalists on a special part of the web site.
- Close collaboration has been initiated with the National Statistical Institutes in the framework of the ‘Dissemination working party’, covering the marketing of products and services as well as media relations.