Eurostat is one of the Directorates General of the European Commission. It is the Community statistical authority appointed by the Commission to develop, produce and spread European statistics.
Eurostat was set up in 1953 in order to meet the requirements of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), whose founding treaty authorised the Community to gather and publish reliable statistical data at the Community level.
Eurostat produces European statistics in partnership with National Statistical Institutes and other national authorities in the EU Member States. This partnership is known as the European Statistical System (ESS). It also includes the statistical authorities of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland.
At the community level, Eurostat assures the production of European statistics according to rules and statistical principles established. In this regard, it alone is competent to decide on the statistical processes, methods, standards and procedures, as well as the content and timing of statistical publications. Eurostat aims to harmonize European work so as to make the dissemination of comparable statistical information accessible to different audiences in the European Union.
The role of Eurostat is defined at article 6th of Regulation (EC) n°223 / 2009 of the European Parliament and the Council of March 11th, 2009, concerning European statistics.