Documents considered by the Committee on 7 December 2016 Contents

9Statistics

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

Committee’s assessment

Politically important

Committee’s decision

Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested

Document details

Proposed Regulation to extend the European Statistical Programme 2013–17, to 2018–20

Legal base

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

Department

Office for National Statistics

Document Number

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

9.1We have under scrutiny a proposal to extend the duration of the 2013–17 European Statistical Programme, which is the framework for development, production and dissemination of EU statistics, from 2018 to 2020. When we considered this proposal in October 2016 we saw no problem with extending the duration of the programme, but given the Government’s apparent dissatisfaction with the proposed increased budget, we asked to know whether it intended to oppose the increase.

9.2The Government tells us now that its preference for an unchanged budget stands and its current intention would be to abstain in any vote on the proposal, which is still at an early stage of negotiation.

9.3We are grateful for this information and note the Government’s present voting intention. We are keeping the document under scrutiny pending further information about the course of the negotiation. When it next reports on this we should like to know the Government’s expectation of the UK’s relationship to the European Statistical Programme post-Brexit.

Full details of the document

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

9.4The 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.

9.5Consequently the Commission has proposed 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.

9.6When, in October 2016, we considered this proposal the Government, while telling us of its support for extending the European Statistical Programme period, noted that it preferred, during consultations on the proposal, an unchanged budget for the extended programme. We saw no problem with extending the duration of the current European Statistical Programme except for the financial aspect. Given the Government’s apparent dissatisfaction with the increased budget, we asked to know whether it intended to oppose the increase during negotiation of the proposal. Meanwhile the document remained under scrutiny.

The Minister’s letter of 22 November 2016

9.7The Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office (Chris Skidmore) now tells us that:

Previous Committee Reports

9.8Thirteenth Report, HC 71-xi (2016–17), chapter 11 (12 October 2016).





9 December 2016