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27 October 2015
PE 564.902v03-00 A8-0313/2015

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised indices of consumer prices and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2494/95

(COM(2014)0724 – C8-0283/2014 – 2014/0346(COD))

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

Rapporteur: Roberto Gualtieri

AMENDMENTS
DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised indices of consumer prices and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2494/95

(COM(2014)0724 – C8-0283/2014 – 2014/0346(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0724),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 338(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0283/2014),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Central Bank of 1 June 2015(1),

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A8-0313/2015),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment    1

AMENDMENTS BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT(2)*

to the Commission proposal

---------------------------------------------------------

REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on harmonised indices of consumer prices and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2494/95

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 338(1) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Central Bank(3),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,

Whereas:

(1)  Harmonised indices of consumer prices (HICP) are designed to measure inflation in a harmonised manner across Member States. The Commission and the European Central Bank use the HICP in their assessment of price stability in Member States under Article 140 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (the Treaty).

(1a)  The HICP are used for assessing national competitiveness as part of the Commission's macroeconomic imbalance procedure.

(1b)  Quality statistics and their comparability are a public good of fundamental importance for all Union citizens, researchers and those responsible for public policy in the Union.

(2)  The European System of Central Banks (ESCB) uses the HICP as an index in order to measure the achievement of the ESCB’s price stability objective under Article 127(1) of the Treaty, which is of particular relevance for the definition and implementation of the monetary policy of the Union under Article 127(2) of the Treaty. Pursuant to Articles 127(4) and 282(5) of the Treaty, the Commission should consult the European Central Bank (ECB) on proposed Union acts in its field of competence.

(2a)  Although the Treaty does not provide a definition of price stability, in 1998 the ECB Governing Council stated that price stability shall be defined as a year-on-year increase in the HICP for the euro area of below 2%. In 2003, the ECB Governing Council agreed that, in the pursuit of price stability, it would aim to maintain inflation rates close to, but below 2%, over the medium-term.

(3)  Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95(4) established a common framework for setting up harmonised indices of consumer prices. This legal framework needs to be adapted to current needs and technical progress, including by improving the relevance and comparability of the HICP as well as by monitoring a broader set of supplementary indicators required for measuring, analysing and forecasting inflation, which need to be made available on a harmonised basis.

(4)  This Regulation takes into account the Commission's better regulation programme and, in particular, the Commission Communication on smart regulation in the Union(5). In the statistical field, the Commission has set as a priority the simplification and improvement of the regulatory environment in statistics(6).

(5)  The HICP and the harmonised index of consumer prices at constant tax rates (HICP-CT) should be broken down by categories of the European classification of individual consumption according to purpose (ECOICOP). This classification should ensure that all European statistics relating to private consumption are consistent and comparable. The ECOICOP should also be consistent with the UN COICOP, which is the international standard classifying individual consumption according to purpose, and should therefore be adapted to changes of the UN COICOP.

(6)  The ▌HICP as currently defined are based on observed prices, which also include taxes on products. Hence, inflation is affected by changes to tax rates on products. For inflation analysis and for convergence assessment in Member States, information also needs to be collected on the impact of tax changes on inflation. To this end, HICP should additionally be calculated on the basis of constant tax rate prices.

(7)  Establishing price indices for dwellings and in particular for owner-occupied housing (OOH indices) is an important step towards improving the relevance and comparability of HICP within the Union and at the international level. House price indices are a necessary basis for compiling OOH indices. In addition, house price indices are important indicators in their own right. Omitting owner-occupied housing from the HICP could mean that the indices are not suitable for comparison purposes across Member States, thereby biasing the monitoring of key developments within the Union such as competitiveness and, more broadly, macroeconomic imbalances. On the basis of the outcome of the report on the suitability of the owner-occupied housing indices for integration into HICP coverage, as provided for in Article 6(2) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 93/2013(7), a specific roadmap should be foreseen for integrating house price indices within the HICP framework.

(7a)  Early provisional information on the monthly HICP in the form of flash estimates is crucial for monetary policy in the euro area. Therefore flash estimates should be provided by Member States in the euro area whenever necessary.

(7b)  The HICP as currently defined are not cost of living indices. However, encouraging pilot studies on harmonised cost of living indices should allow the HICP to be supported with an important analytical tool for monitoring underlying trends regarding inflation, as medium-term and long-term inflation trends are strongly related to cost of living trends.

(8)  The reference period of price indices should be updated periodically. Rules for common index reference periods of harmonised indices and their sub-indices integrated at different points in time should be established in order to ensure that the resulting indices are comparable and relevant.

(9)  In order to enhance the gradual harmonisation of consumer price indices, pilot studies should be launched to assess the feasibility of using additional basic information or applying new methodological approaches. The Commission should take the necessary actions and find the right incentives, including financial support, to encourage pilot studies.

(10)  Guidance on the various stages of producing high-quality harmonised indices should be given in a methodological manual in order to help Member States to produce comparable indices of consumer prices. The methodological manual should be established by the Commission (Eurostat) in close cooperation with Member States within the European Statistical System and regularly updated. In the annual HICP inventory referred to in Article 9(2)(b) of this Regulation, Member States should inform the Commission (Eurostat) about divergences, if any, between the statistical methods used and those recommended in the methodological manual.

(11)  The Commission (Eurostat) should verify the sources and methods used by Member States to calculate harmonised indices and should monitor the implementation of the legal framework by Member States. For this purpose the Commission (Eurostat) should maintain a regular dialogue with the Member States’ statistical authorities.

(12)  Background information is essential for assessing whether the detailed harmonised indices provided by the Member States are sufficiently comparable. In addition, transparent compilation methods and practices used in Member States help all stakeholders to understand the harmonised indices and further improve their quality. A set of rules for reporting harmonised metadata should therefore be established.

(13)  In order to ensure the quality of harmonised indices, confidential data and metadata should be exchanged between the Commission (Eurostat), national central banks and the European Central Bank in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council.(8).

(14)  Since the objective of the present Regulation, namely the creation of common statistical standards for harmonised indices, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in the same Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve this objective.

(15)  In order to ensure comparability at international level of the classification of individual consumption according to purpose used for the breakdown of the HICP and the HICP-CT, to assure adaptation to changes of UN COICOP, to modify the list of sub-indices of ECOICOP that need not be produced, to introduce improved data quality and composition of basic information and improved methodology for better relevance and comparability of indices based on the evaluation of pilot studies, and to extend the scope of the HICP with a view to including housing prices indices, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of harmonised indices. It is of particular importance that the Commission carries out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and the Council.

(16)  In order to ensure full comparability of consumer price indices, uniform conditions are needed for the breakdown of the HICP and the HICP-CT by ECOICOP categories, for the applied methodology in producing harmonised indices, for the information provided by statistical units, for providing weights and metadata on the weights, for the establishment of an annual calendar for the transmission of the harmonised indices and sub-indices, for the data and metadata exchange standards, for the uniform conditions for revisions,▐ and for technical quality assurance requirements regarding the content of annual quality reports, the deadline for providing the report to the Commission (Eurostat) and the structure of the inventory. In order to ensure such uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council.(9)

(16a)  Some sub-indices of ECOICOP do not need to be produced by all or some Member States at present, either because they do not cover household final monetary consumption expenditure or because the degree of methodological harmonisation is not yet sufficient. However, it is possible that in the future methodological harmonisation could be improved either by virtue of Union law or because of a factual convergence of methodological approaches. In that case, the Commission should be empowered to amend this Regulation in order to include the mandatory production of the relevant sub-indices of ECOICOP.

(17)  In adopting implementing measures and delegated acts in accordance with this Regulation, the Commission should ensure that those delegated acts do not impose a significant additional burden on Member States, nor on the respondent units, nor change the applicable underlying conceptual framework beyond what is provided for in this Regulation. A cost-effect analysis should be fully considered when adopting and implementing those delegated acts.

(18)  In the context of Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 223/2009, the European Statistical System Committee has been asked to provide its professional guidance.

(19)  Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 should be repealed.

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1Subject matter

This Regulation lays down a common framework for the development, production and dissemination of harmonised indices of consumer prices (HICP, HICP-CT, OOH price index) and of the house price index (HPI) at Union, national and sub-national level.

Article 2Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation the following definitions apply:

(a)  ‘Development of statistics’ means establishing and improving statistical methods, standards and procedures used in the production and dissemination of statistics, with the aim of designing new statistical measures and indicators.

(b)  ‘Production of statistics’ means all steps involved in compiling statistics, including collecting, storing, processing and analysing statistics.

(c)  ‘dissemination of statistics’ means the activity of making statistics, statistical analyses and non-confidential information accessible to users;

(d)  ‘products’ means goods and services as defined in Annex A, point 3.01 of Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (10) (hereinafter referred to as ‘ESA 2010’);

(e)  ‘consumer prices’ means the purchase prices paid by households to purchase individual products by means of monetary transactions;

(ea)  ‘house price’ means the transaction price of a dwelling purchased by a household;

(f)  ‘purchase price’ means the price actually paid by the purchaser for products, including any taxes less subsidies on the products, after deduction of discounts for bulk or off-peak purchases from standard prices or charges, excluding interest or services charges added under credit arrangements and any extra charges incurred as a result of failing to pay within the period specified at the time of purchase;

(g)  ‘harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP)’ means the comparable index of consumer prices produced by each Member State;

(h)  ‘harmonised index of consumer prices at constant tax rates (HICP-CT)’ means the comparable index produced by each Member State that measures changes in consumer prices over a period of time excluding the impact of changes in tax rates on products during that period of time;

(i)  ‘administered prices’ means prices that are either directly set or influenced to a significant extent by the government;

(j)  ‘owner-occupied housing price index (OOH price index)’ means the index produced by each Member State that measures changes in the transaction prices of dwellings new to the household sector and of other products that the households acquire in their role as owner-occupiers;

(k)  ‘house price index (HPI)’ means the comparable index produced by each Member State that measures changes in the transaction prices of dwellings purchased by households;

(l)  ‘sub-index of the HICP or the HICP-CT’ means a price index for any of the categories of the European classification of individual consumption according to purpose (hereinafter referred to as ‘ECOICOP’) as established in the Annex;

(m)  ‘harmonised indices’ means the comparable HICP, HICP-CT, OOH price index and the HPI produced by each Member State;

(ma)  ‘flash estimate of the HICP’ means an early estimate of the HICP provided by the Member States in the euro area that may be based on provisional information and, if necessary, appropriate modelling;

(o)  ‘Laspeyres-type index’ means a price index that measures the average change in prices from the price reference period to a comparison period using expenditure shares from some period prior to the price reference period, and where the expenditure shares are adjusted to reflect the prices of the price reference period, and is defined as:

  where capital sigma (∑) is the summation; the price of a product is denoted by P; the price reference period is 0, the comparison period is t; and weights w are expenditure shares of a period b prior to the price reference period and are adjusted to reflect the prices of the price reference period 0;

(p)  ‘index reference period’ means the period for which the index is set to 100 index points;

(pa)  ‘price reference period’ means the period to which the price of comparison period refers, and where for monthly indices the price reference period is December of the previous year and where for quarterly indices the price reference period is the fourth quarter of the previous year;

(q)  ‘basic information’ with reference to HICP and HICP-CT means data covering

–  all purchase prices of products which need to be taken into account in order to compute ▌sub-indices in accordance with this Regulation,

–  all characteristics that determine the product price and any other characteristics relevant to the consumer purpose in question,

–  information on taxes and excise duties levied,

–  information as to whether a price is fully or partially administered, and

–  all weights reflecting the level and structure of the consumption of the products concerned.

(r)  ‘basic information’ with reference to the OOH price index and HPI means data covering

–    all transaction prices of dwellings purchased by households which need to be taken into account to compute the HPI ▌in accordance with this Regulation,

–    all characteristics which determine the dwelling price or other relevant characteristics.

(s)  'household' means a household as defined in Annex A, paragraph 2.119 (a) and (b) of ESA 2010, irrespective of nationality or residence status;

(t)  'economic territory of the Member State' means the territory as defined in Annex A, paragraph 2.05 of ESA 2010, with the exception that the extraterritorial enclaves situated within the boundaries of the country are included and the territorial enclaves situated in the rest of the world are excluded;

(u)  ‘household final monetary consumption expenditure’ means that part of final consumption expenditure incurred by:

–  households,

–  in monetary transactions,

–  on the economic territory of the Member State,

–  on products that are used for the direct satisfaction of individual needs or wants, as defined in Annex A paragraph 3.101 of ESA 2010,

–  in one or both of the time periods being compared;

(v)  ‘significant change of production method’ means a change that is estimated to affect the annual rate of change of a given harmonised index or part thereof in any period by more than:

–  0.1 percentage points for the all-items HICP, the HICP-CT, the OOH price index or the HPI,

–  0.3, 0.4, 0.5 or 0.6 percentage points for any ECOICOP division, group, class or sub-class (5-digit) respectively for the HICP or the HICP-CT.

Article 3Compilation of the harmonised indices

1.  Member States shall provide the Commission (Eurostat) with all harmonised indices as defined in Article 2(m), in the appropriate form.

2.  The harmonised indices shall be compiled using a Laspeyres-type formula.

3.  The HICP and the HICP-CT shall be based on the price changes and weights of products included in household final monetary consumption expenditure.

4.  Neither the HICP nor the HICP-CT shall ▐cover transactions between households, except in the case of rentals paid by tenants to private landlords, where the latter act as market producers of services purchased by households (tenants).

4a.  OOH indices shall be compiled, where possible and provided that the data is available, for the 10 years preceding the entry into force of this Regulation.

5.  The HICP and the HICP-CT sub-indices shall be compiled for the categories of ECOICOP. Uniform conditions for the breakdown of the HICP and the HICP-CT by ECOICOP categories shall be adopted by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

5a.  Depending on the outcome of the report on the suitability of the owner-occupied housing indices for integration into HICP coverage as provided for in Article 6(2) of Regulation EU) No 93/2013, the Commission may adopt, within one year of the publication of that report, a delegated act in accordance with Article 10 of this Regulation to integrate the OOH index into the HICP, with appropriate adjustments to the methodology of the latter and within the limits of the scope of both of them combined as set out in this Regulation.

5b.  The Commission may extend the deadline referred to in paragraph 5a by three years if it assesses that additional time is required in order to adopt the delegated acts referred to therein or it shall propose, where appropriate, a review of this Regulation.

5c.  The breakdown of the flash estimate of the HICP provided by Member States in the euro area shall be adopted by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

5d.  The breakdown of the OOH price index and of the HPI shall be adopted by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

Article 4Comparability of the harmonised indices

1.  For the harmonised indices to be considered comparable, any difference across countries at all levels of detail shall only reflect differences in price changes or expenditure patterns.

2.  Any sub-indices of the harmonised indices that deviate from the concepts or methods of this Regulation shall be deemed comparable if they result in an index that is estimated to differ systematically by:

(a)  less than or equal to 0.1 percentage points on average over one year against the previous year from an index compiled following the methodological approach of this Regulation, in the case of the HICP and the HICP-CT;

(b)  less than or equal to one percentage point on average over one year against the previous year from an index compiled following the methodological approach of this Regulation, in the case of the OOH price index and the HPI.

Where such a calculation is not possible, the consequences of using a methodology which deviates from the concepts or methods of this Regulation must be set out in detail.

3.  The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 10 for the amendment of the Annex in order to ensure comparability ▐ at international level of the breakdown of HICP by ECOICOP categories.

4.  In order to ensure uniform conditions of implementation, and for the purposes of achieving the objectives of this Regulation, further details for producing comparable harmonised indices shall be defined by means of implementing acts. Such implementing acts shall concern:

  (i)  sampling and representativity;

  (ii)  collection and treatment of prices;

  (iii)  replacements and quality adjustment;

  (iv)  index compilation;

  (v)  revisions;

  (vi)  special indices;

  (vii)  treatment of products in specific areas.

  The Commission shall ensure that those implementing acts do not impose a significant additional burden on the Member States, nor on the respondent units.

Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

4a.   Where scientifically supported evolutions of statistical methods based on the report on the pilot studies referred to in Article 8(4a) so require with a view to the production of harmonised indices, the Commission shall be empowered to amend, by means of delegated acts adopted in accordance with Article 10, the first subparagraph of Article 4(4), by adding items to the list set out therein for which further detail of statistical method is required, provided that such items do not overlap with existing ones, nor change the scope or nature of harmonised indices as set out in this Regulation.

Article 5Data requirements

1.  Member States shall collect basic information representative of their country in order to produce harmonised indices and their sub-indices.

2.  The information shall be obtained from statistical units as defined in Council Regulation (EEC) No 696/93(11).

3.  The statistical units that provide information on products included in household final monetary consumption expenditure shall cooperate in the collection or provision of basic information as required. The statistical units shall give accurate and complete information, including in electronic form if requested. On request of the national bodies responsible for compiling official statistics, the statistical units shall provide information in electronic form, such as scanner data, and at the level of detail necessary in order to produce harmonised indices and to evaluate compliance with the comparability requirements and the quality of the harmonised indices. Uniform conditions for providing this information shall be established by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

4.  The harmonised indices and their sub-indices shall be scaled to the common index reference period 2015. This scaling shall take effect with the index for January 2016.

5.  The harmonised indices and their sub-indices shall be rescaled to a new common index reference period in cases of a major methodological change of the harmonised indices which are adopted in accordance with this Regulation or every 10 years after the last rescaling starting from 2015. The rescaling to the new index reference period shall take effect:

(a)  for monthly indices, with the index for January of the second year after the index reference period;

(b)  for quarterly indices, with the index for the first quarter of the second year after the index reference period.

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 10 to establish detailed rules on rescaling of harmonised indices in the event of scientifically recognised methodological changes which necessarily and substantially trigger rescaling.

6.  ▌Member States need not produce or provide HICP or HICP-CT sub-indices that have a weight accounting for less than one part in a thousand of the total expenditure covered by the HICP.

6a.  Member States need not produce or provide OOH or HPI sub-indices that have a weight accounting for less than one part in a hundred of total owner occupier housing expenditure (0.1) and total purchases of dwellings (H.1) respectively.

7.  The ▌ sub-indices of ECOICOP that are not required to be produced by the Member States, either because they do not cover household final monetary consumption expenditure or because the degree of methodological harmonisation is not yet sufficient, shall be as follows:

  02.3  Narcotics;

  09.4.3   Games of chance;

  12.2  Prostitution;

  12.5.1  Life insurance;

  12.6.1  FISIM.

In the event that the degree of methodological harmonisation improves sufficiently, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 10 in order to amend the first subparagraph of this paragraph by removing one or more sub-indices listed therein.

Article 6Frequency

1.  Member States shall provide the Commission (Eurostat) with the HICP, the HICP-CT and their respective sub-indices at monthly intervals, including those sub-indices produced at longer intervals.

2.  Member States shall provide the Commission (Eurostat) with the OOH price index and the HPI at quarterly intervals. They may be provided at monthly intervals on a voluntary basis.

3.  Member States are not obliged to produce sub-indices at monthly or quarterly intervals where less frequent data collection fulfils the comparability requirements of Article 4. Member States shall inform the Commission (Eurostat) of the ECOICOP and OOH categories that they intend to collect at intervals less frequent than, respectively, monthly or quarterly.

4.  Each year, Member States shall review and update sub-index weights for the harmonised indices. Uniform conditions for providing weights and metadata on the weights shall be established by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

4a.  In order to ensure the correctness of statistical data provided by Member States, the Commission shall use all the appropriate prerogatives and powers provided for in Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 223/2009.

Article 7Deadlines, exchange standards and revisions

1.  Member States shall provide harmonised indices and all sub-indices to the Commission (Eurostat) no later than 20 calendar days after the end of the reference month for monthly series and 85 calendar days after the end of the reference quarter for quarterly series.

1a.  Member States shall provide the update weights for the monthly indices no later than 13 February each year. The updated weights for the quarterly indices shall be provided no later than 15 June each year.

1b.  Each Member State in the euro area shall provide a flash estimate of the HICP not later than the penultimate calendar day of the month to which the HICP refers.

2.  Member States shall provide the Commission (Eurostat) with the data and metadata required by this Regulation in accordance with data and metadata exchange standards.

3.  Harmonised indices and their sub-indices of harmonised indices that have already been published may be revised.

4.  The establishment of an annual calendar for submitting the harmonised indices and the sub-indices referred to in paragraph 1, the data and metadata exchange standards referred to in paragraph 2, and the uniform conditions for revision as referred to in paragraph 3 shall be specified in detail by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

Article 8Pilot studies

1.  Whenever improved basic information is required for the compilation of harmonised indices, or when the need for improved relevant and international comparability of indices is identified in the methods referred to in Article 4(4), the Commission (Eurostat) may launch pilot studies to be carried out on a voluntary basis by the Member States.

1a.  The general budget of the Union shall, where appropriate, contribute to the financing of pilot studies.

2.  The pilot studies shall assess the feasibility and costs of obtaining improved data quality and composition of basic information or adopting new methodological approaches.

3.  The results of the pilot studies shall be evaluated by the Commission (Eurostat) in close cooperation with the Member States and main users of the harmonised indices, taking into account the benefits of having improved basic information or new methodological approaches relative to the additional costs of collection and compilation.

4.  Based on the evaluation of the pilot studies, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 10 in order to supplement this Regulation with data quality requirements and composition for obtaining basic information required for the compilation of harmonised indices that refine the existing requirements or improved methods which shall in any event not modify the basic assumptions of the methods provided in this Regulation.

4a.  By 31 December 2020 and every five years thereafter, the Commission (Eurostat) shall prepare a report to the European Parliament and Council evaluating, if applicable, the main findings of the pilot studies.

Article 9Quality assurance

1.  Member States shall ensure the quality of the harmonised indices provided. For the purposes of this Regulation, the standard quality criteria set out in Article 12(1) of Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 shall apply.

2.  Member States shall provide the Commission (Eurostat) with:

(a)  an annual standard quality report covering the quality criteria referred to in Article 12(1) of Regulation (EC) No 223/2009;

(b)  an annual inventory with details of data sources, definitions and methods used, including details of any divergences between the statistical methods used and those recommended in the methodological manual; and

(c)  further related information at the level of detail necessary to evaluate compliance with the comparability requirements and the quality of the harmonised indices if requested by the Commission (Eurostat).

3.  If a Member State intends to introduce a significant change in the production methods of the harmonised indices or part thereof, the Member State shall inform the Commission (Eurostat) at the latest three months before any such change would enter into force. The Member State shall provide the Commission (Eurostat) with a quantification of the impact of the change.

4.  Technical quality assurance requirements regarding the content of the standard annual quality report, the deadline for providing the report to the Commission (Eurostat) and the structure of the inventory shall be established by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

Article 10Exercise of the delegation

1.  The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.  The delegation of powers referred to in Articles 4(3), 4(4a), 5(5), 5(7) and 8(4) shall be conferred for an indeterminate period of time.

2a.  When adopting delegated acts in accordance with Articles 4(3), 4(4a), 5(5), 5(7) and 8(4) the Commission shall ensure that those delegated acts do not impose a significant additional burden on Member States, nor on the respondent units, nor change the applicable underlying conceptual framework. A cost-effect analysis shall be fully considered when adopting and implementing those delegated acts.

3.  The delegation of powers referred to in Articles 4(3), 4(4a), 5(5), 5(7) and 8(4) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of the delegated acts already in force.

4.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

5.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Articles 4(3), 4(4a), 5(5), 5(7) and 8(4) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed by either the European Parliament or the Council within a period of three months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by three months at the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council.

Article 11Committee

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by the European Statistical System Committee established by Regulation (EC) No 223/2009. That Committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

Article 12Repeal

1.  Without prejudice to paragraph 2, Member States shall continue to provide harmonised indices in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 up to the transmissions of data referring to 2015.

2.  Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 is repealed with effect from 1 January 2016. References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed as being made to this Regulation.

Article 13Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall take effect for the first time to data referring to January 2016.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Brussels,

For the European Parliament  For the Council

The President          The President

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The Commission's proposal for a Regulation lays down a uniform legal framework for the development, production and dissemination of data on Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP) and of Housing Prices (HPI) at Union, national and sub-national level. The HICP provides a measure of inflation used inter alia as valuable input for deflating economic values such as salaries, rents, interest rates and thus form the basis for economic and monetary policy decisions. It is of therefore of crucial importance that these statistics are objective, unbiased and comparable across all Member States and all product areas.

The current applicable Regulation on HICP dates back to 1995: new developments in consumer prices statistics necessitate a revision of the framework to ensure maximum comparability for the main users of HICP. The Regulation also takes account of the EU decision-making innovations introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, that gives to the Commission (in this case Eurostat) the right to issue implementing measures (implementing acts), or legislative measures that can amend non-essential parts of a regulation (delegated acts). Therefore in the Commission's proposal many activities are to be set by delegated acts, such as the definition of the appropriate methodology to produce harmonized indices between countries, or to update the weights of the sub-indices of the HICP.

The Rapporteur takes a generally favourable view of the Commission's proposal, in particular for inflation analysis to include information of the impact of tax changes on inflation. The HICP-CT is an important tool for analysing the causes of inflation and for forecasting the impact of future tax changes on inflation - hence the draft report proposes for both HICP and HICP-CT to be broken down by categories of the European Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (ECOICOP). However, as for the power of the Commission to change some elements with delegated acts, two issues are excluded and determined directly in the Regulation. The first is the determination of the sub-indices of the HICP whose proportion of total basket is negligible. The second is the selection of sub-indices whose production may be suspended since some of them do not cover household final monetary consumption or because the degree of methodological harmonisation is not yet sufficient at this stage.

Moreover, as early provisional information on inflation is crucial in particular for the conduct of monetary policy, the draft report calls for HICP flash estimates to be provided by euro area Member States on a monthly basis and the breakdown of the flash estimates of the HICP, Owner-Occupied Housing (OOH) price index and of the HPI to be adopted by means of implementing acts.

Finally, given the importance of the pilot studies, it has been established that the Commission shall, where appropriate, contribute to their financing. Every five years the Commission should also prepare a report to the European Parliament and the Council evaluating the main findings of the pilot studies.

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Harmonised indices of consumer prices (repeal of Regulation (EC) No 2494/95)

References

COM(2014)0724 – C8-0283/2014 – 2014/0346(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

9.12.2014

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ECON

15.12.2014

 

 

 

Committees asked for opinions

       Date announced in plenary

IMCO

15.12.2014

 

 

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

IMCO

21.1.2015

 

 

 

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

Roberto Gualtieri

13.1.2015

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

16.7.2015

13.10.2015

 

 

Date adopted

13.10.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

45

6

3

Members present for the final vote

Gerolf Annemans, Burkhard Balz, Hugues Bayet, Udo Bullmann, Esther de Lange, Fabio De Masi, Anneliese Dodds, Markus Ferber, Jonás Fernández, Elisa Ferreira, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Sven Giegold, Sylvie Goulard, Roberto Gualtieri, Brian Hayes, Gunnar Hökmark, Danuta Maria Hübner, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Petr Ježek, Eva Kaili, Georgios Kyrtsos, Philippe Lamberts, Bernd Lucke, Olle Ludvigsson, Thomas Mann, Fulvio Martusciello, Michał Marusik, Marisa Matias, Emmanuel Maurel, Costas Mavrides, Bernard Monot, Siegfried Mureşan, Luděk Niedermayer, Stanisław Ożóg, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Dariusz Rosati, Alfred Sant, Andreas Schwab, Peter Simon, Renato Soru, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, Kay Swinburne, Paul Tang, Nils Torvalds, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Marco Valli, Tom Vandenkendelaere, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Miguel Viegas, Beatrix von Storch, Pablo Zalba Bidegain, Marco Zanni

Date tabled

27.10.2015

(1)

OJ C 209, 25.6.2015, p. 3.

(2)

* Amendments: new or amended text is highlighted in bold italics; deletions are indicated by the symbol ▌.

(3)

  OJ C 209, 25.6.2015, p. 3.

(4)

  Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 of 23 October 1995 concerning harmonised indices of consumer prices (OJ L 257, 27.10.1995, p.1).

(5)

  Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions 'Smart Regulation in the European Union', COM(2010) 543.

(6)

  Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on ‘the production method of EU statistics: a vision for the next decade’, COM(2009) 404 final.

(7)

  Commission Regulation (EU) No 93/2013 of 1 February 2013 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 concerning harmonised indices of consumer prices, as regards establishing owner-occupied housing price indices (OJ L 33, 2.2.2013, p. 14).

(8)

  Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on European Statistics (OJ L 87, 31.3.2009, p.164).

(9)

  Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).

(10)

  Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the European Union (OJ L 174, 26.6.2013, p. 1).

(11)

  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 (OJ L 76, 30.3.1993, p. 1).

Last updated: 29 February 2016Legal notice