Peer review of the National Statistical System


There is an ocean of information, facts and statistics out there. But how can one be sure that this information is accurate, the facts are not fake and the statistics have not been manipulated?


The CZSO offers high-quality statistics and data! Count with us and on us!

Our mission is to produce official statistics for fact-based decision-making.
provide you with free access to data that are reliable, trustworthy and comparable.


The CZSO together with Eurostat and the national statistical authorities of all the EU and EFTA countries form a partnership called the European Statistical System (ESS). We produce European statistics which respect a common quality framework. One instrument that ensures the implementation of the common quality framework (and thus the quality of European statistics) is the so-called ESS peer reviews. The Czech Statistical Office expects this Peer Review in March 2023.

Curious to know more about the peer reviews? Then browse through the most common FAQs below.

For up-to-date information follow us on our social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram) and Statistika & My website.


What are the ESS peer reviews and how do they ensure the quality of European statistics?

Quality is the trademark of European statistics and makes them more trustworthy than other data that are readily available through many channels. To guarantee the quality of their statistics, the ESS created a common quality framework. The European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP) is the cornerstone of this quality framework, a set of principles that must be met by the national statistical system and the activities and outputs of the national statistical office. The objective of the peer reviews is to assess ESS members' the compliance with the principles and indicators of the CoP. The subsequent recommendations should also help statistical authorities to further improve and develop their statistical systems.


What is the European Statistics Code of Practice?

The common quality framework of the ESS is based on the CoP. It is a self-regulatory tool based on a set of 16 principles covering the institutional environment, statistical processes, and statistical outputs. For each of the principles, a set of best practice indicators and standards have been developed to provide guidance and benchmarks for reviewing how the CoP has been applied in practice. For example, Principle 1 on professional independence states that European statistics should be produced in impartially, independently, and free from any political or other external influence.


Is this the first time that peer reviews are taking place?

Two previous rounds of peer reviews were carried out in 2006 – 2008 and 2013 – 2015. They provided us with valuable experiences and recommendations that were implemented in the previous period. The evaluation of the success of their implementation will take place in the new III. round 2021–2023. New recommendations for further improvement can also be expected, which is precisely the purpose of the peer reviews.


Who participates in the peer reviews?

All members of the ESS are reviewed, i.e. Eurostat and the national statistical authorities of the EU Member States and EFTA countries. Peer review expert teams are composed of four European experts in statistics, auditing and governance issues. An expert team from the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB) reviews Eurostat.


How are the peer reviews conducted?

1. Each ESS national statistical authority assesses itself against the principles of the CoP through a questionnaire and provides extensive documentation on its functioning.

2. This questionnaire is checked and analyzed by an expert peer review team, which then conducts a more detailed on-site review during a personal weekly visit.

3. The expert team compiles a final report with recommendations for improvements.

4. This report is submitted to the national statistical authority for approval and the drafting of improvement actions. The implementation of the improvement actions in the EU and EFTA countries is monitored on an annual basis by Eurostat. The implementation of the improvement actions for Eurostat is monitored by ESGAB.


What is the aim of the peer reviews?

In the past rounds of peer reviews, the reviews focused mainly on compliance with the CoP. This III round will go further and help ESS partners to improve by making future-oriented recommendations that go beyond the current CoP. In addition, future-oriented elements could help revise the CoP to reflect new developments that experts will identify in this round.


What is the role of ESGAB?

Summary information on this monitoring is provided to the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB) for its annual report to the European Parliament and the European Council. ESGAB is an independent Advisory Board that carries out the peer review of Eurostat and reports on Eurostat's implementation of the CoP. It also includes an assessment of the implementation of the CoP in the ESS as a whole.

It advises on measures to facilitate the CoP’s implementation, on its communication and its possible updates. The ESGAB annual reports are available from 2009 onwards.


  • Peer review report - Czech Republic