Documents considered by the Committee on 12 October 2016 Contents

11Statistics: European statistical programmes 2018–20

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

Committee’s assessment

Politically important

Committee’s decision

Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested

Document details

Proposed Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No. 99/2013 on the European statistical programme 2013–17, by extending it to 2018–20

Legal base

Article 338(1) TFEU, ordinary legislative procedure, QMV

Department

Office for National Statistics

Document Numbers

(38056), 12056/16 + ADDs 1–3, COM(16) 557

11.1The Commission’s statistical office, Eurostat, and the National Statistical Institutions of EU and EEA/EFTA Member States cooperate in the European Statistical System. The system requires adoption of European Statistical Programmes which provide, for a given period, the framework for development production and dissemination of EU statistics, the main fields of activity and the objectives of the actions envisaged. The duration of a European Statistical Programme is now required to match that of the current Multiannual Financial Framework. However, the current programme covers the period 2013-17.

11.2Consequently the Commission proposes a Regulation to extend the current European Statistical Programme to cover the period 2018–20, so matching the present Multiannual Financial Framework. One feature of the proposal is that the average budgets in the three additional years, although within the Multiannual Financial Framework parameters, will be higher than the average budgets in the original period.

11.3While the Government tells us in support of the proposal to extend the European Statistical Programme period, it noted that it preferred, during consultations on the proposal, an unchanged budget for the extended programme.

11.4We see no problem with this proposal to extend the duration of the current European Statistical Programme except for the financial aspect. Given the Government’s apparent dissatisfaction with the increased budget, we wish to know whether it intends to oppose the increase during negotiation of the proposal. Meanwhile the document remains under scrutiny.

Full details of the documents

Proposed Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No. 99/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European statistical programme 2013–17, by extending it to 2018–20: (38056), 12056/16 + ADDs 1–3, COM(16) 557.

Background

11.5The Commission’s statistical office, Eurostat, and the National Statistical Institutions of EU and EEA/EFTA Member States cooperate in the European Statistical System (ESS). The ESS requires adoption of European Statistical Programmes (ESP) of a duration matching the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MMF)—normally seven years. The current programme covers the period 2013–2017. The ESP provides for the framework for development production and dissemination of EU statistics, the main fields of activity and the objectives of the actions envisaged. It sets out the priority statistical requirements from the users’ perspective, balances them with the resources available in the ESS and takes account of the burden on respondents to statistical inquiries. The ESP is delivered through legislation or by written agreements between Eurostat and the National Statistical Authorities. Eurostat sets out annual programmes of work for each year of the programme, with timetables for new legislation and statistical initiatives.

11.6Regulation (EC) No. 223/2009, as amended, now requires an ESP to cover the same period as an MFF and Regulation (EU) No. 99/2013, which established the current ESP, provides that the Commission may submit a proposal for its extension for the period from 2018 to 2020.

The document

11.7The aim of this proposed Regulation is to extend the current ESP to 2018–20 in order to align the programme with the 2014-20 MFF, and is intended to simplify and stabilise budget planning for statistical activities. It lays down a financial envelope for the extension years of the ESP. The total amount to be met from within the MFF for those years is proposed as €218.1 million (£185 million). This represents an increase in the ESP budget to an average of €72.7 million (£61.7 million) per annum compared to the €58.4 million (£49.2 million) per annum average over the current five year period.

The Government’s view

11.8In his Explanatory Memorandum of 22 September 2016 the Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office (Chris Skidmore), first repeats the Government’s ritual statement that until Brexit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union, that all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force and that during this period the Government will continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation. He then notes that the essence of this proposal is to extend the ESP to align it with the period of the MFF.

11.9The Minister comments further that:

Previous Committee Reports

None.





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14 October 2016