Courrier des statistiques N3 - 2019
FRIBS: A New Common Framework for European Business Statistics
Adopted in 2019, the framework regulation on business statistics, formally known as FRIBS (standing for Framework Regulation Integrating Business Statistics), is the result of a long process of preparation and negotiation at the European level. FRIBS is based on three founding principles: the use of common methodological principles, definitions and quality criteria; the need for greater flexibility to respond to economic changes and emerging statistical needs; and the identification of cross-domain synergies and simplifications of the data requirements to alleviate the burden on businesses. FRIBS is designed to replace ten sectoral regulations or decisions currently in force. It creates a common legal framework for business statistics, reducing both inconsistencies between different domains and redundancies, without removing them altogether. Beyond the integrated approach introduced by FRIBS, a number of other developments and innovations will allow for better coverage of certain domains within the tertiary sector, as well as certain topics such as globalisation and groups. For the most part, FRIBS will apply from the reference year 2021, although many of the changes introduced by FRIBS have already been anticipated and implemented in France. The remaining changes will require substantial adjustments.
- The Preparation of FRIBS: a Lengthy Undertaking
- A Framework Regulation Replacing Ten Existing Sectoral Regulations...
- Box 1. Ten Regulations and Decisions Repealed by FRIBS
- ... And Designed to Increase Coherence Between Domains
- Box 2. The Statistical Units to be Used at the European Level Are Partly Modified
- Box 3. Beyond the Integrated Approach, Some Novelties Introduced by FRIBS
- Box 4. Beyond the Integrated Approach, the Main Developments Introduced by FRIBS on Periodicity and Scope
- In Practice, What Changes Will We See in France as a Result of FRIBS?
- A Gradual Implementation Requiring Additional Texts
- Ultimately, Will FRIBS Increase Coherence?
- Will FRIBS Improve The Capacity to Meet Users’ Needs?
- Will FRIBS Help to Alleviate the Burden?
For many years, business statistics produced by the French Official Statistical Service have been largely governed by European regulations. European Union (EU) institutions have required economic indicators, particularly on businesses, to promote the construction of Europe and further integration. The Community survey on industrial production was the subject of a regulation as early as 1991, while the first European regulation on structural statistics was introduced in 1996 and the European framework for short-term indicators was adopted in 1998. Historically, however, European business statistics have been governed by “sectoral” regulations, by domain, based on an “organ pipe” structure. In the early 2010s, Eurostat launched several draft “framework” regulations relating to social statistics, agricultural statistics and business statistics with the aim of streamlining and rationalising the new legislative architecture in the spirit of the Lisbon Treaty (2009), of making it easier to adapt it to future developments and of improving coherence and efficiency (note).
The Preparation of FRIBS: a Lengthy Undertaking
Adopted in 2019, the framework regulation on business statistics, formally known as FRIBS (Framework Regulation Integrating Business Statistics), is the result of a long process of preparation and negotiation at the European level.
As early as 2009, Eurostat laid the foundations for a strategy for the decade ahead (Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletEurostat, 2009) based on a new generation of cross-domain legislation in which technical topics are governed by implementing and delegated acts. The principle was that such an architecture would help to reduce cross-domain inconsistencies and redundancies, both of which create inefficiencies for the National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) and Eurostat and increase the response burden on respondents.
The stated aims of the FRIBS project launched in 2011 are clear:
“The objective of the framework regulation is to integrate business statistics within the EU, to streamline and rationalise them, to make them more flexible and to reduce the burden of responding to statistical questionnaires. FRIBS will provide common infrastructure tools for the production and compilation of business statistics while improving their relevance and overall quality. The operational objective of the project is to put in place a common legal framework for the systematic collection, compilation, transmission and dissemination of European statistics related to the structure, economic activity, competitiveness, global transactions and performance of the business sector. However, this is not a simple consolidation of existing legal texts in the various domains related to business statistics, but an ambitious project based on a critical review of existing data requirements and methodological and implementing provisions and on an assessment of user needs” (Eurostat, 2012).
The origins of FRIBS thus lie in the idea of a framework regulation designed to replace several existing sectoral regulations. Because of this, the regulation must be based on common methodological principles, definitions and quality criteria. It aims to allow for increased flexibility to adapt to economic changes and new emerging statistical needs. It also seeks to promote cross-domain synergies and simplifications of the data requirements to alleviate the response burden on businesses.
The FRIBS project has also been enriched by the findings of the MEETS programme (standing for Programme for the Modernisation of European Enterprise and Trade Statistics) covering the period 2009-2013. Drawing on methodological and conceptual work carried out within the ESSnets, the programme focused in particular on the following issues:
- conceptual and methodological coherence;
- the methodology of the EuroGroups Register (EGR);
- the profiling of large and complex multinational enterprises;
- the modernisation of Intrastat, the data collection system for compiling statistics on international trade in goods between EU Member States.
Several projects forming part of Eurostat’s “ESS Vision 2020” then took over. The ESBR (European System of Interoperable Statistical Business Registers) project has provided a basis for developing topics related to the common European framework for statistical business registers and the EGR, including greater harmonisation of national registers, improvements in the quality of the EGR, and thus of the statistics on enterprise groups and globalisation, and pooling of services (e.g. identification) between NSIs. The SIMSTAT and REDESIGN projects tested the feasibility of exchanging micro-data on intra-EU trade in goods and involved a cost-benefit analysis of the different options for redesigning the production of statistics on intra-EU trade in goods. The work undertaken as part of these projects have provided significant input into the process of preparing FRIBS.
A Framework Regulation Replacing Ten Existing Sectoral Regulations...
FRIBS replaces ten sectoral regulations or decisions of the European Parliament and of the Council currently in force (Box 1). These texts cover a wide range of statistical operations, as shown in the following list (Figure 1):
- short-term statistics (on activity and output, production and import prices, employment, hours worked, building permits, etc.);
- structural business demography statistics and structural statistics on the economic performance of businesses;
- statistical business registers;
- industrial production statistics (PRODCOM);
- statistics on foreign affiliates (IFATS and OFATS);
- statistics on the information society (use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and e-commerce;
- statistics on science and technology (R&D and Innovation); international trade in goods statistics.
Box 1. Ten Regulations and Decisions Repealed by FRIBS
- Establishment of a Community survey of industrial production (Council Regulation (EEC) No 3924/91 of 19 December 1991).
- Short-term statistics (Council Regulation (EC) No 1165/98 of 19 May 1998).
- Production and development of Community statistics on science and technology (Decision No 1608/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 July 2003).
- Production of annual Community statistics on the steel industry for the reference years 2003-2009 (Regulation (EC) No 48/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 December 2003).
- Community statistics on the information society (Regulation (EC) No 808/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004).
- Community statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States (Regulation (EC) No 638/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3330/91).
- Community statistics on the structure and activity of foreign affiliates (Regulation (EC) No 716/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007).
- Common framework for business registers for statistical purposes (Regulation (EC) No 177/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 2186/93).
- Recasting of structural business statistics (Regulation (EC) No 295/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008).
- Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries (Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/95).
Figure. 1 Domains Covered in FRIBS
BD : Business demography ou Démographie d’entreprises
FATS : Foreign Affiliates Statistics ou Statistiques sur les filières étrangères
GVC : Global Value Chains Statistics ou Statistiques sur les chaînes d’activité mondiales
ICT : ICT Statistics ou Statistiques sur l’usage des TIC et le e-commerce
INN : Innovation Statistics ou Statistiques sur l’innovation
ITGS : International Trade in Goods Statistics ou Statistiques sur le commerce international de biens
ITSS : International Trade in Services Statistics ou Statistiques sur le commerce international de services
PCM : Prodcom ou Production communautaire
RD : Research & Development Statistics ou Statistiques sur la R&D
SBS : Structural Business Statistics ou Statistiques structurelles sur les entreprises
STS : Short Term Statistics ou Statistiques de court terme
TEC : Trade by enterprise characteristics ou Statistiques sur le commerce selon les caractéristiques de l’entreprise
TIC : Trade by invoicing currency ou Statistiques sur le commerce par devise de facturation
Without repealing existing Regulations, FRIBS also covers:
- in part, statistics on trade in services: these are currently governed by Regulation (EC) No 184/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 January 2005 on Community statistics concerning balance of payments, international trade in services and foreign direct investment. FRIBS includes requirements relating to primary statistics on trade in services, on the basis of which subsequent imputations can be made to produce data and aggregates in accordance with European and international standards for the balance of payments. This follows a subtle compromise reached in 2016 after lengthy negotiations between the European Commission (Eurostat) and the Committee on Monetary, Financial and Balance of Payments Statistics (CMFB), formalised in a CMFB opinion dated 12 September 2016 (Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletCMFB, 2016);
- statistics on global value chains, i.e. on outsourcing, offshoring, foreign business creation and business relocation. This domain, which is important for the analysis of globalisation issues, has so far been the subject of pilot surveys, conducted in some EU countries on a voluntary basis.
In its early versions, FRIBS also covered statistics on foreign direct investment, a domain taken out of scope following the CMFB opinion.
The question also arose as to whether tourism statistics should be included. The latter ultimately remained out of scope and remains governed by a 2011 regulation covering both statistics on tourism supply and tourist attendance and statistics on the departure behaviour of households.
In addition, FRIBS does not cover “business-based social statistics” such as on continuing vocational training in enterprises, labour costs and the structure of earnings. The possibility of a FRIBS2 Regulation covering these domains was considered at one point but is no longer on the table.
Given the many domains covered and the cross-cutting nature of FRIBS, the regulation applies to several of France’s statistical authorities and extends well beyond the confines of INSEE's remit. As well as INSEE, several Ministerial Statistical Office are also concerned by the regulation, including agriculture, foreign trade, sustainable development, higher education, research and innovation, labour and the Banque de France.
... And Designed to Increase Coherence Between Domains
The current “organ pipe” approach (Figure 1) raised issues of cross-domain coherence and redundancy. For example, the statistical units used in different domains tended to vary, with the Kind-of-Activity Unit and the Enterprise being predominantly used (Box 2). In addition, definitions of concepts (e.g. turnover) often varied from one domain to another, as did both the field covered and the breakdowns required (e.g. by economic activity or size class). The same data could be required under two different regulations, leading to different responses from Member States.
Box 2. The Statistical Units to be Used at the European Level Are Partly Modified
FRIBS uses the Kind-of-Activity Unit in all sectors for short-term statistics on prices, production, turnover and employment (and also for industrial production)(a); in the 1998 Regulation concerning short-term statistics, the specified statistical unit was either the Kind-of-Activity Unit or the Enterprise (depending on the sector).
The Enterprise is the statistical unit used for structural statistics, including business demography statistics and statistics on ICT, R&D (private sector), innovation and global value chains. Formally at least, this is already the case in current sectoral regulations. However, implementation was not effective, in the sense that the NSIs considered the Enterprise to be the legal unit, an increasingly irrelevant view given the development of corporate group structures.
In France, structural statistics (obtained from the ESANE system) have been disseminated by Enterprise across the entire field since the reference year 2017(b) (Haag, 2019). Most other countries(c) started doing so with the 2018 data. For structural demography and “thematic” surveys (ICT, Innovation, etc.), implementation will take place as part of the FRIBS Regulation.
The statistical units used to produce results continue to be defined by the 1993 regulation(d).
The Kind-of-Activity Unit (KAU) groups all the parts of an enterprise contributing to the performance of an activity at class level (four digits) of NACE. This entity corresponds to one or more operational subdivisions of the enterprise, which must provide, for each KAU, at least the value of production, intermediate consumption, manpower costs, the operating surplus and employment and gross fixed capital formation.
An Entreprise is the smallest combination of legal units that is an organisational unit producing goods or services, which benefits from a certain degree autonomy in decision-making, especially for the allocation of its current resources. An Enterprise carries out one or more activities at one or more locations. An Enterprise may be a sole legal unit.
An Institutional Unit(e) is an elementary economic decision-making centre, i.e. a unit characterised by decision-making autonomy in the exercise of its principal function (in the sense of being responsible and accountable for the decisions and actions it takes) and that keeps a complete set of accounts (accounting records covering all its economic and financial transactions carried out during the accounting period, as well as a balance sheet of assets and liabilities).
An Enterprise group is an association of enterprises bound together by legal and/or financial links. It can have more than one decision-making centre, especially for policy decisions on production, sales and profits; it may centralise certain aspects of financial management and taxation. It constitutes an economic entity which is empowered to make choices concerning the units which it comprises.
The Local Unit is an Enterprise or part thereof (e.g. workshop, factory, warehouse, office, mine or depot) situated in a geographically identified place. At or from this place, economic activity is carried out for which – save for certain exceptions – one or more persons work for one and the same Enterprise.
(a) Short-term statistics on enterprise births (incorporations) and deaths, newly introduced under FRIBS, are instead required on a legal unit basis.
(b) Like Italy.
(c) Including Germany.
(d) These units may or may not be identical to the collection units. See Council Regulation (EEC) No 696/93 of 15 March 1993 on the statistical units for the observation and analysis of the production system in the Community (Ouvrir dans un nouvel onglethttp://admi.net/eur/loi/leg_euro/fr_393R0696.html).
(e) The Institutional Unit is used in national accounts. It should not be confused with the legal unit, which invariably constitutes, whether alone or sometimes in combination with other legal units, the legal basis of the statistical unit “Entreprise”.
A typical example is the number of enterprises, required both within the scope of structural statistics and in the context of business demography. These inconsistencies also limited the possibilities to link micro data.
More than harmonisation between countries or harmonisation through inputs, the primary objective of FRIBS is therefore to increase cross-domain coherence and to enhance the role of common reference frameworks such as classifications and business registers, as well as to develop statistics on specific topics and sectors, including the globalised economy following the Riga Memorandum adopted by the European Statistical System Committee (ESSC, 2014), enterprise groups and the tertiary sector (trade and services).
FRIBS and its implementing measures define specific outputs that must be transmitted (aggregate variables, indices, etc.). To calculate them, national statistical institutes are free to use several types of data sources specified in the Framework Regulation provided the results meet certain quality criteria. Permitted sources include surveys, administrative records, exchanges of micro-data and any other relevant innovative sources, methods or approaches. For example, FRIBS includes no pre-defined survey questionnaire, although in the case of topics such as ICT, innovation and global value chains, the variables required in the implementing legislation are so detailed that they effectively resemble survey questions. But these are exceptions rather than the rule. There is also no requirement for any particular information to be collected directly from businesses, nor is there a requirement that surveys, if conducted, be mandatory. With some exceptions, the data to be transmitted are aggregated data. The only exceptions are mandatory exchanges of micro-data, which relate on the one hand to business registers and the EuroGroups register and on the other to intra-EU trade in goods.
A provision was also introduced to allow exchanges of confidential data, collected or calculated within the scope of FRIBS, between the national statistical authorities of Member States, their central banks, the European Central Bank and Eurostat “to safeguard the quality and comparability of European business statistics or national accounts”. The specific conditions for applying this provision, originally introduced to authorise exchanges of confidential data on multinational enterprise groups and described at this stage as an “enabling clause”, remain to be specified.
In short, the framework regulation creates a common legal framework for business statistics. As well as the common framework it establishes, the regulation also introduces a number of changes and innovations, the most important of which are listed in Box 3 and Box 4.
Box 3. Beyond the Integrated Approach, Some Novelties Introduced by FRIBS
- New data requirements and new indicators: a monthly index of services production, a monthly sales volume index for all trade (Scherrer, 2019), enhanced business demography with breakdowns by region, quarterly data on business births and deaths , data on gazelles* and high-growth enterprises, which are now mandatory, provisional ten-month data on SMEs for business demography and the main structural characteristics and new mandatory variables for statistics on the foreign affiliates of French groups (personnel costs and tangible investment).
- The role of statistical business registers is enhanced, whether national registers or the EuroGroups Register (EGR). These registers are recognised as an “authoritative source” for the definition of populations (e.g. for sampling purposes). The content of exchanges of micro-data between the national statistical authorities of different countries, via Eurostat, and between countries and Eurostat is enhanced, for example by including demographic data on groups and enterprises.
- The exchange of intra-EU trade in goods micro-data is made mandatory: each Member State must transmit to all other Member States individual export data, which may (but need not) be used as “mirror data” by each partner country to compile its import statistics. This point was decided late in the preparation of the FRIBS Regulation since it was necessary to await the results of the SIMSTAT and REDESIGN projects. The inclusion of these exchanges in FRIBS, including the transmission of the exporter’s VAT identification number and the country of origin of the goods, was finally approved by the Directors of the NSIs at the ESSC meeting held in November 2016. The latter points have been the subject of vigorous reactions from some Member States, which are particularly concerned not to increase the reporting burden on businesses. However, the work of the ESSnet on SIMSTAT had shown that these variables were necessary to ensure the quality of the statistics compiled based on the micro-data exchanged.
* The term ‘gazelles’ was used by David Birch, the inventor of business demography and a researcher at MIT, in the 1980s to refer to young, fast-growing companies.
Box 4. Beyond the Integrated Approach, the Main Developments Introduced by FRIBS on Periodicity and Scope
- Increased periodicity and shorter deadlines for providing data for certain indicators. Turnover indices in wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, as well as some services, have become monthly (as opposed to quarterly previously).
- Statistics on global value chains are now required on a mandatory basis for all countries every three years.
- Extensions of scope, particularly in the tertiary sector: structural and demographic statistics and statistics on foreign affiliates in France are extended to include market activities in education and health and social work, as well as household services. Coverage of the quarterly services producer price index and of data on labour is also extended in services. These extensions are designed, on the one hand, to achieve greater coherence between the fields covered according to the domains considered and, on the other, to improve coverage of the tertiary sector, which represents a growing share of the value added of European businesses.
- Simplified and aligned scope and breakdowns: a number of data requirements are removed, such as the breakdown of turnover by product in trade for structural statistics and expenditure on environmental protection. However, these are still needed for other purposes (environmental accounts) and are required in other contexts. To increase cross-domain coherence and simplify data requirements, breakdowns are also streamlined and rationalised, including, for example, by aligning R&D and innovation statistics with breakdowns in other domains in terms of size and sector of activity as well as with the concept of workforce and by aligning short-term indicators for the construction sector with the items of the Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE).
In Practice, What Changes Will We See in France as a Result of FRIBS?
France has been a strong supporter of the FRIBS project throughout its preparation. INSEE and the Foreign Trade Ministerial Statistical Office have also been actively involved in the projects and ESSnets that designed some of the regulation’s key building blocks, in particular on the profiling of large multinational groups, the European framework for registers and intra-EU trade in goods.
In addition, many of the changes required under FRIBS were anticipated by France’s Official Statistical Service and have already been implemented in recent years. While in some cases France’s statistical monitoring system was already capable of responding to new demands, developments at the European level also provided a decisive impetus to enhance and complete the range of indicators at the national level prior to the implementation of the Framework Regulation. This is particularly the case for the new short-term volume indicators (retail trade volume index and index of services production) and for the extended scope and changes in periodicity of short-term indicators (Scherrer, 2019).
However, a number of adaptations are still required at the national level. Among the more structural changes needed is the transition to effective dissemination based on the concept of Enterprise for statistics on ICT, innovation, R&D, global value chains and the implementation of the micro-data exchange approach on intra-EU exports of goods.
Dissemination at the Enterprise level still requires an assessment of the most suitable protocol: should data be collected directly at this level and, if so, which unit(s) should be surveyed to ensure relevant and high-quality information is compiled? Should we survey legal units within Enterprises and then aggregate their responses, in a context where the data collected are mainly qualitative variables? Drawing in particular on experiments conducted in recent years, work is currently underway on these issues at both INSEE and the SIES.
On the second subject, many points remain to be defined or fine-tuned within the scope of delegated or implementing acts designed to complement the framework regulation. A secure exchange system needs to be set up for very detailed confidential data on intra-EU exports, and each country wishing to receive individual data from other Member States must be certified. Furthermore, the quality of statistics based on the exchange of micro-data has not yet been thoroughly assessed. The actual use to which exchanges of micro-data are put will be determined by the level of statistical quality, with the potential for such exchanges to supplement or even replace the collection of statistics on intra-EU imports at the national level. With respect to trade in services, the detail of data requirements within the scope of the FRIBS application package has yet to be specified. Depending on what is ultimately decided, further substantial work may be required on the part of the Banque de France. Existing methods of collaboration between data producers may also need to change. For example, new aggregates on the economic performance of businesses, combining data produced by INSEE on the non-financial market sectors and by the Banque de France on the financial sector, will need to be transmitted, requiring increased cooperation across departments.
A Gradual Implementation Requiring Additional Texts
The framework regulation defines the general framework and its key elements. However, the specific details of many domains will be set out in delegated and implementing acts. For statistics at the country and regional levels and on international activities, the Framework Regulation defines a list of general topics (e.g. for short-term statistics: prices, output and performance, labour, etc.) and detailed topics (producer prices; import prices, etc.). However, the legal architecture provides that variables and data requirements may be defined (and modified) at an even more detailed level by means of implementing acts. Similarly, the periodicity of data requirements is set by the Framework Regulation, although the scope and breakdowns required will be defined in other texts.
In the case of FRIBS, the package of texts drafted to accompany the Framework Regulation were prepared in parallel with the regulation itself. They make up the “FRIBS package”, which has already been extensively discussed by various thematic working groups and by the group of directors of business statistics, although some domains, relating primarily to international trade, remain to be clarified.
The Framework Regulation provides for implementation of the provisions of FRIBS from 2021 (the reference year), except for intra-EU trade in goods (2022). In the case of short-term statistics, while implementation is scheduled for 2021, it will only be completed in 2024, several years of data being necessary to calculate seasonally adjusted data for the new indicators. As in the case of social statistics, several calls for proposals issued by Eurostat are intended to provide financial support to countries in implementing the innovations introduced by FRIBS. France has so far not responded positively to the calls issued to date since they related to innovations that it had already implemented.
Ultimately, Will FRIBS Increase Coherence?
While FRIBS serves to complement the existing supply of statistics, one of its main objectives was also to improve cross-domain coherence. When three different definitions are replaced by just one, when countries are required to provide a single “number of enterprises” or when size classes are harmonised across domains, consistency is necessarily enhanced. There will also be more scope for linking data from different domains.
However, there is still room for improvement:
- for example, statistical units are not fully harmonised across different domains. In addition, while all countries will disseminate data on economic results based on the concept of Enterprise, just what these Enterprises comprise, their granularity and the manner in which their consolidated accounts are prepared are likely to vary from one country to another, despite the existence of a manual of recommendations;
- for domains generally covered by surveys, such as innovation, the characteristics of the surveys (sampling fraction, whether or not the survey is mandatory, stopping criteria, etc.) can vary significantly and affect the comparability of the results (Duc and Ralle, 2019);
- the consistency of statistics on external trade in goods and services and other business statistics could also be improved. For example, statistics on trade in services continue to be based on the EBOPS classification used for the balance of payments, which is poorly integrated with the European Classification of Products by Activity (CPA). Breakdowns by CPA product codes should, however, be required under FRIBS on a voluntary basis;
- As regards trade in goods, the scope of operators is not altogether consistent with the statistical business registers.
FRIBS will improve coherence and comparability, but does not address all these issues.
Will FRIBS Improve The Capacity to Meet Users’ Needs?
FRIBS already incorporates requests made by users, mainly the political departments of the European Commission or the European Central Bank (ECB), in particular on globalisation and enterprise groups and on short-term indicators.
For future developments, the Framework Regulation includes safeguard clauses (or safeguards) designed to contain and manage the number of possible changes, notably on detailed topics and variables, over rolling five-year periods.
These safeguard clauses, as well as the legal instruments allowing for changes to data requirements, were key domains of negotiation between Eurostat and the NSIs throughout the FRIBS preparation process. The European Parliament and the Commission pushed for a widening of the scope of the delegated acts, which could have resulted in increased costs for the NSIs and businesses. A compromise was therefore reached in an attempt to reconcile the requirement for flexibility and adaptability with changes in demand and guaranteed cost control.
Ultimately, changes in variables and detailed topics will remain possible, but within defined boundaries. They will be easier to introduce in some domains. In their search for a compromise, Eurostat and the directors of business statistics introduced a distinction in 2015 between “dynamic statistics” (ICT, Innovation, Global Value Chains) and “stable statistics”. Compared to the latter, the former have less stringent safeguard clauses attached to them and therefore offer greater flexibility. Registers are the domain where the scope for change and development is most limited since the vast majority of countries have supported the role of registers as the backbone of business statistics – a role that requires great stability.
Future developments will also involve pilot studies. Some topics have already been identified in the framework regulation. These reflect major needs expressed by users, including on real estate, with the new subject of commercial real estate, international trade in services (as requested by the Commission and the ECB) and financial indicators on businesses, climate and the environment (requested by the European Parliament). It can therefore be expected that pilot studies on these topics will be launched, leading to new data requirements in the coming years. The process has already begun on commercial real estate and trade in services by business characteristics and method of supply.
Will FRIBS Help to Alleviate the Burden?
FRIBS encourages the use of data sources other than surveys and eliminates the practice of multiple requests for identical data. However, new data requirements have also been included. Ultimately, it is hard to see how the regulation significantly reduces the burden for both NSIs and businesses. One of the domains where a significant alleviation of the burden was announced is intra-EU trade in goods. A slight reduction in the coverage rate has been decided, although the reduction in burden will only be significant if the introduction of the micro-data exchange approach serves to alleviate the burden at a national level. On this subject, the effectiveness of the proposed changes remains to be proven.
Paru le :22/06/2021
See also the papers by Hervé Piffeteau on the new legal triptych of European statistics and by Chantal Cases on IESS regulation in the same issue.
This concerned not only business statistics but also applied to other domains (see Chantal Cases’s paper on IESS in this issue).
European Statistical System Network, i.e. collaborative networks set up between national statistical institutes.
On this subject, see (Haag, 2019).
On Eurostat’s strategic response, adopted in 2014, see Ouvrir dans un nouvel onglethttps://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/ess/about-us/ess-vision-2020.
Department of Statistics and Foresight Analysis (Service Statistique et de la prospective, or SSP).
External Trade Statistics and Analyses Division (Département des Statistiques et des études du commerce extérieur, or DSECE).
Data and Statistical Studies Departement (Service de la Donnée et des études statistiques, or SDES).
Directorate of Evaluation, Forecasting and Performance Monitoring (Sous-direction des Systèmes d’information et des études statistiques, or SIES).
Directorate of Research, Economic Studies and Statistics (Direction de l’animation, de la recherche et des études statistiques, or DARES).
In these domains, European working groups also produce “harmonised questionnaires” as a guideline for conducting surveys.
On this subject, see Hervé Piffeteau’s paper in this issue.
This is precisely what is done for the Annual Sectoral Survey, excluding manually profiled enterprise groups, although the survey is designed to collect quantitative data.
The exchange of micro-data has benefited from the ESDEN project (standing for European Statistical Data Exchange Network and forming part of the ESS Vision 2020 portfolio), designed to ensure the modernisation of data exchange services across the ESS, to increase their capacity and to improve interoperability and security.
See Hervé Piffeteau’s paper in this issue.
For example, the Italian method involves breaking groups down into separate enterprises to a greater extent than the French method (Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletAlonzi and Migliardo, 2018; Haag, 2019). Yet Eurostat considers that profiling practices are relatively homogeneous across countries (Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletEurostat, 2019).
EBOPS: Extended Balance of Payments Services.
CPA: Statistical classification of products by activity.
Pour en savoir plus
ALONZI, Francesca et MIGLIARDO, Serena, 2018. Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletThe implementation of ISTAT automatic profiling to support the delineation of complex enterprises. 26th Meeting of the Wiesbaden Group on Business Registers – Profiling and Globalisation. [en ligne]. 24-27 septembre 2018. Neuchâtel. [Consulté le 4 novembre 2019]
COMMITTEE ON MONETARY, FINANCIAL AND BALANCE OF PAYMENTS STATISTICS (CMFB), 2016. Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletCMFB opinion on re-shaping the connection between business statistics and BOP-IIP via the FRIBS draft Regulation. [en ligne]. 12 septembre 2016. [Consulté le 4 novembre 2019]
CSSE, 2014. Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletRiga Memorandum towards better measurement of the globalised economy. [en ligne]. 26 septembre 2014. [Consulté le 4 novembre 2019]
EUROSTAT, 2009. Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletCommunication de la Commission au Parlement européen et au Conseil concernant la méthode de production des statistiques de l’Union européenne : une vision de la prochaine décennie. [en ligne]. 10 août 2009. N° COM/2009/0404. [Consulté le 4 novembre 2019]
EUROSTAT, 2012. Projet en vue de l’établissement d’un règlement-cadre relatif à l’intégration des statistiques d’entreprises : rapport d’avancement. In : Rapport pour le CSSE de novembre 2012. 15 novembre 2012. Luxembourg, 15e réunion du Comité du système statistique européen, point 11 de l’ordre du jour
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