The organisation of cooperation in the field of statistics is governed legally by Protocol 30 of the EEA Agreement (based on article 76) and its Annex XXI. Protocol 30 asserts that the EEA EFTA States can participate fully, without the right to vote, in the EU committees and bodies that assist the European Commission in the management or development of programmes and actions.
EEA EFTA States participate regularly in statistical committees and statistical working groups which allows them to influence the shaping of legislation and statistical programmes at an early stage. For the EEA EFTA states this is important because all legal acts which support the achievement of a homogenous EEA through the implementation of the four freedoms, including cooperation in flanking and horizontal policies, are deemed to be relevant to the EEA Agreement.
A common annual statistical programme between EU and EEA EFTA States defines the statistical domains where EEA EFTA States are entitled to receive tenders and grants given out by the Commission in order to acquire a service or encourage an action that implements projects related to the production of statistical information.
In addition, the EFTA Working Group of the Heads of the National Statistical Institutes makes up the EFTA institutional set-up for EEA statistical cooperation. This working group assists the Subcommittee IV on Flanking and Horizontal Policies, which itself assists the Standing Committee of the EFTA States. The EFTA Statistical Office serves as secretariat for this working group.
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