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Statistics: New rules to safeguard high quality, comparable statistics for the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure

European Commission - IP/13/515   07/06/2013

Other available languages: FR DE LT

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 7 June 2013

Statistics: New rules to safeguard high quality, comparable statistics for the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure

Robust new rules for compiling, monitoring and reporting statistics for the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) have been proposed by the European Commission today. The aim is to ensure that the data used for the MIP is comparable, reliable and of the highest quality, so that Member States' macroeconomic imbalances can be efficiently identified and addressed at an early stage. Eurostat will be responsible for monitoring that the quality requirements are met on the statistics submitted by Member States, as well as for communicating this data. If any Member State deliberately misrepresents their MIP data, the Commission proposal foresees that sanctions could be applied.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner responsible for statistics, said: "Good economic governance relies on a solid statistical foundation. The new rules proposed today will enshrine in law the need for macroeconomic indicators to be as solid as the data used to gauge national debt and deficit levels. As such, the proposed new rules will make a crucial contribution to the reinforced economic governance in the EU."

The approach set out in the draft Regulation is largely modelled on the well-functioning statistical procedures already used for Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP). Member States would be required to provide Eurostat with the relevant macroeconomic statistics in line with common quality criteria set down in the Regulation on European Statistics. They should also inform Eurostat of the sources and methods used to compile this data. Eurostat would examine Member States’ statistics, ensure that they are reported in a timely manner, and communicate them for the purposes of the MIP.

If Eurostat finds any problems with the MIP statistics it receives, it can express a reservation or amend the data where appropriate. In addition, Eurostat could visit specific Member States if it had a concern that the EU statistical standards were not being met. If there is deliberate misrepresentation of MIP statistics by Member States, "effective, dissuasive and proportionate" fines of up to 0.05% GDP could be imposed on the Member State in question.

Today's proposal is also flexible enough to allow procedures to be adapted in line with new statistical and economic developments. The new rules would apply equally well if changes to the statistics used for the MIP were necessary.

Background

In its conclusions of November 2012, the European Council underlined " the importance for the credibility of the MIP of having timely statistics of the highest quality for inclusion in the scoreboard and stressed the need for the Commission to pursue all necessary initiatives to assure a reliable procedure for the compilation of these statistics as well as a continuous improvement of the underlying statistical information". Today's proposal is a direct response to that request.

For the draft regulation, see:

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/excessive_imbalance_procedure/Documents/1_EN_ACT_part1_v11.pdf

For more information on the MIP, see:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/economic_governance/macroeconomic_imbalance_procedure/index_en.htm

For more information on Eurostat, see:

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home

Contacts :

Emer Traynor (+32 2 292 15 48)

Natasja Bohez Rubiano (+32 2 296 64 70)


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