Opinion piece

A new statistical system for the European Union

Quality statistics are essential to economic policy. In this essay, Andreas Georgiou demonstrates the existence of fundamental risks inherent in the E

Publishing date
12 December 2018

Quality statistics are fundamental to economic policy. In the European Union a number of critical official statistics are the basis for economic surveillance of member states. These statistics are the product of a system in which Eurostat relies on the statistical offices of EU countries. This essay shows how this system is no longer adequate, argues that a more efficient, integrated approach is required, and sets out a model that would deliver the statistics the European Union needs.

About the authors

  • Andreas Georgiou

    Andreas Georgiou was born in Patra, Greece, in 1960. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College in Economics and Political Science/Sociology. He continued his studies in Economics at the University of Michigan, where he received a Ph.D. with specialisations in Monetary Theory and Stabilisation Policy and in International Trade and Finance. From October 1989 until July 2010 he worked at the International Monetary Fund, holding positions in the following departments: Statistics Department, African Department, European Department, Exchange and Trade Relations Department (currently Strategy and Policy Review Department).

    In August 2010 he returned to Greece to head the newly established Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) — the successor of the National Statistical Service of Greece following the onset of the economic crisis in Greece. He was President of the Hellenic Statistical Authority until 2 August 2015, in its first five years as an independent National Statistical Office. He led the reorganisation and rebuilding of the institution (both regarding statistical production and administration) on a new basis of fully conforming to international and European statistical standards and practices, leading to the establishment of the credibility of Greek statistics.

    Amongst his tasks was also the coordination of the newly defined and constituted National Statistical System of Greece (Hellenic Statistical System) and he was, inter alia, responsible for the certification of other national agencies’ official statistics. Moreover, he organised and led the 2011 National Census in Greece, meeting EU Regulation provisions and applying new quality controls and standards. He has been an elected Member of the Partnership Group of the European Statistical System (2012-2013); Member of the Partnership Group of the European Statistical System (on account of Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2013-2014); Member of the European Statistical System Committee (2010-2015); elected Member of the Bureau of the European Statistical Forum (2013-2015); elected Member of the Editorial Board of the European Statistical System Report (2014-2015); and Chairman of the Council Working Party on Statistics during the Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU (2014). In 2013 he was elected Member of the International Statistical Institute. He has been Visiting Associate Professor in Finance, Banking and Investment, at the Economics University Bratislava, in the Slovak Republic.

    He is currently Visiting Lecturer and Visiting Scholar at Amherst College, USA, where he teaches statistical ethics and macroeconomics. He is elected member of the Council of the International Statistical Institute (2019-2023) and is currently serving as member of the Committee on Professional Ethics of the American Statistical Association (2018-2020). He has published on institutional and legal frameworks for national and supranational statistical systems, on financial crises and on macroeconomic programming.

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