News 19 Dec 2019

Successful Presidency of the Council Working Party on Statistics

Finland’s six month Presidency of the Council of the EU ends at the end of December. Statistics Finland was responsible for the presidency tasks in the field of statistics. The biggest accomplishment was reaching an agreement both between the member states within the Council Working Party on Statistics and with the European Parliament on a regulation that expands the statistics on migration and international protection.

As a result of the new regulation, Eurostat can produce better statistics, for example, on unaccompanid minors in the asylum process, recipients of material reception conditions, the citizenships and apprehension of nationals found to be illegally present, and in terms of returns and forced returns, for example, the numbers of voluntary returns and return assistance received. Production of new statistics will start at the beginning of 2021. In addition, so-called pilot studies were agreed on in the regulation where the member states headed by Eurostat pilot the production of certain new statistics: if the results from the pilots are positive, statistics compilation can be expanded.

In addition to representatives from Statistics Finland, the core presidency team in the field of statistics also included an expert from the Ministry of the Interior. In addition, experts from the Finnish Immigration Service, the Finnish EU representation in Brussels and the General Secretariat of the Council participated in the work. “The presidency team has received praise for reaching the agreement and for listening to the member states, as well as for systematic and transparent working methods,” says the Chair of the Council Working Party on Statistics Timo Koskimäki.

The other regulation that was worked on was the Single market and European statistical programme. In terms of statistics, it agrees on the framework for European statistics and their funding in the EU for 2021 to 2027. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the coordination of this Package of Regulations and the team cooperated closely with the ministry. Negotiations with the Parliament progressed but it seems likely that no agreement will be reached during Finland’s term.

In addition, the framework regulations in business statistics and social statistics surveys that had been negotiated by previous presidency countries were adopted during Finland's term.

This morning, Statistics Finland handed over the Presidency of the Council Working Party on Statistics to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics. In addition, the third country of the presidency trio, Romania, and the Statistical Office of the European Communities, Eurostat, participated in the event hosted at the House of Estates in Helsinki.

Further information:
Chair of the Council Working Party on Statistics Timo Koskimäki, tel.  +358 29 551 3495,
Co-Chair of the Council Working Party on Statistics Anita Heinonen tel. +358 29 551 3479,

Website for the Presidency of the Council Working Party on Statistics: