On 27 April 2010, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 479/2009(1) as regards the quality of statistical data in the context of the excessive deficit procedure (COM(2010)0053). The Council adopted a general approach on this proposal on 8 June 2010 and Parliament is in the process of giving its opinion.
1. How does the Commission intend to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of data provided by national authorities, taking into account the new powers provided for in the regulation? Is the Commission satisfied with the general approach agreed in Council on 8 June 2010 compared to the decision by the Council in 2005 not to give the Commission (Eurostat) the necessary tools?
2. How would the Commission like to strengthen the quality of European statistics in the medium and long term, taking into account that improvements in economic governance are only possible if economic surveillance is based on accurate statistics and a standardised and internationally accepted method of accounting?
3. Has the Commission undertaken any in-depth analysis of whether Member States have complied with all the provisions of the Treaty and relevant secondary legislation, and whether any have submitted falsifications or false data or statistics either intentionally or by neglect?
4. Does the Commission consider it desirable to enhance the role of Eurostat, making it a fully independent authority/institution?
5. Does the Commission agree with giving Eurostat wider powers to make on-site inspections without any advance warning and hold interviews with any organisation it deems relevant to its work?
6. Why did the Commission propose using a special legislative procedure, i.e. Article 126(14) of the Treaty, as the legal basis for its proposal, although Article 338(2) of the Treaty provides a specific legal base as regards the quality of statistics in the EU and the proposal under discussion does not deal with the excessive deficit procedure as such?