The statistical cooperation between the EFTA Countries and the European Union operates within the framework of the EEA and the Swiss/EU Agreements. The European Statistical System (ESS) comprises the statistical institutes, ministries, agencies and central banks that produce official statistics in EEA Member States and Switzerland as well as Eurostat - the statistical office of the European Union. Eurostat’s database also includes EFTA States’ data.
The EFTA Statistical Office (ESO) is located in the premises of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, in Luxembourg, and functions as a liaison office between Eurostat and the EFTA National Statistical Institutes. ESO's main objective is to promote the full inclusion of the EFTA States in the European Statistical System, thus providing harmonised and comparable statistics to support the general cooperation process between EFTA and the EU within and outside the EEA Agreement. The cooperation also entails technical cooperation programmes with third countries and training of European statisticians.
The overall objective of EFTA technical cooperation in the field of statistics is to promote and develop close links between the EFTA States and Eurostat and other international organisations such as the UNECE in a number of programmes for technical cooperation in the field of statistics. Through such cooperation, EFTA is seeking active and visible participation in the planning, execution and revision of EFTA/EU projects.
The EFTA countries are together with the EU part of the European Statistical System. Its statistical office, Eurostat, provides large amounts of comparative data for European countries. Data for the individual EFTA countries are available through the National Statistical Institutes. International organisations of which EFTA countries are members also publish statistics for the EFTA countries.