On the 30th October 2012, the fourth meeting of the Council Working Party on Statistics under the Cyprus Presidency took place in Brussels.
According to the agenda of the meeting, the following two items were discussed:
(a) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics.
The discussion focused on the proposed new paragraph 3 of article 11 (European Statistics Code of Practice) and, in particular, the provisions relating to the signing of a Commitment on Confidence in Statistics. A number of Member States questioned the legal nature of such provision and requested both an oral and a written opinion of the Council Legal Service on the issue. The proposed amendments to articles 6.2 (Eurostat) and 12.2 (statistical quality) were also discussed, while the open issues relating to the Presidency proposal for the new article 5a (heads of national statistical institutes) were revisited. The reading of the text will continue in the next meeting.
(b) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European system of national and regional accounts in the European Union.
Following informal contacts between the European Parliament and the Cyprus Presidency on the outstanding issues (article 12a and Annex B, table 29), the EP came up with a counter proposal which formed the basis of the discussion. The Presidency compromise proposal earned the unanimous support of the Member States and was welcomed by the Commission (Eurostat). The Cyprus Presidency, aiming at concluding the long negotiations on this legislative file and coming to an agreement at first reading, will communicate the Council position to the EP negotiating team and will await their response.
The next meeting of the Council Working Party on Statistics is scheduled for the 19th November 2012.