The Statistical Office of the European Communities
) is the statistical
arm of the European Commission
, producing data for the European Union
and promoting harmonisation of statistical methods across the member states of the European Union
, with a seat in Luxembourg.
Eurostat is a General Service Directorate-General
of the European Commission
, headed by a Director-General
. Seven directors and a chief adviser are responsible for different sectors of Eurostat activities.
Its current Director-General is Walter Radermacher, former President of the Federal Statistical Office of Germany.
Eurostat publishes economic statistics and statistics on economic and monetary convergence, trade statistics, business statistics, social and regional statistics, agricultural, environmental and energy statistics. The Eurostat Yearbook provides a wealth of harmonised and comparable data on the European Union
, the euro zone
and the EU Member States
, with additional statistics related to major non-European countries.
Three of its particularly significant roles are:
Eurostat's website offers free access to download nearly all of its data and electronic publications grouped into the following themes:
- General and regional statistics
- Economy and finance
- Population and social conditions
- Industry, trade and services
- Agriculture and fisheries
- External trade
- Environment and energy
- Science and technology
The paper versions of some publications are still priced and can be ordered via the EU bookshop
In 2000, internal auditors raised concerns about Eurostat's contracts with outside companies and referred the matter to the European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF
. OLAF did not react. In 2001, Paul Van Buitenen
, whose earlier report had indirectly led to the resignation of the previous Commission, produced a second report, but this at first led to no action, until Hans-Martin Tillack
and the press started to take interest in the matter. Questions were asked in the European Parliament
, OLAF produced a new report entitled " A vast enterprise for looting community funds" as it was reported by Financial Times
on May 16th 2003. Finally the Commission acted. Three senior Eurostat officials were removed from their posts and a number of contracts with outside companies were cancelled.
It was alleged that, at least during the 1990s, Eurostat used a double accounting system to transfer large amounts of money to secret bank accounts not monitored by auditors and that the value of some contracts was inflated. Allegedly there was evidence of cronyisms and financial irregularities, though no evidence of personal enrichment was found. Between four and five million euros was thought to have been "siphoned off", mostly between 1996 and 2001. Some of the money was recovered.