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Positioning Eurostat in the European Polity

Deborah Werner

Timely and correct data are fundamental for the development and assessment of efficient policies. Nevertheless, the question of how these numbers are collected and processed suffers from a lack of academic research. Aspiring to fill this yet existing gap in the European Studies literature, the paper sheds light on the Union's sole provider of cross-nationally comparable datasets, namely Eurostat. The paper argues that Eurostat could consolidate and escalate its status from its foundation in 1953 onwards because of the increasing need for comparable data in a steadily expanding European Union. This examination essentially consists of two parts: Firstly, it assesses the above-mentioned proposition by zooming in on the development of the organisational design and the options of action of the institution itself. Subsequently, the paper adopts an inter-institutional approach to trace the European statistical office's role among the European Commission, Parliament and Council over time. As Eurostat mainly works with data supplied by the member states' statistical institutes, it additionally draws upon the cooperation between the European and national authorities in the same manner.

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