Statistical information is an important tool for understanding and quantifying the impact of political decisions in a specific territory or region. Eurostat is publishing European statistics for many statistical domains at regional level, which are widely used in the context of EU regional policy and to define eligibility for regions under the European Structural and Investment Funds.
The obective of the opinion is to express the view of the European Committee of the Regions on the proposal of the European Commission to amend to the existing Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 (the so called "NUTS-Regulation"), which established the common classification of territorial units for statistics, in order to legally recognise a number of territorial typologies that are already in use within the framework of the European Statistical System.n order to legally recognise a number of territorial typologies that are already in use within the framework of the European Statistical System.
On 2 August 2017, the Chair of the Council Working Party on Statistics confirmed the receipt of the CoR opinion and explained that it would be taken into account during the trilogue.
In her letter of 12 September 2017 to CoR President Lambertz, Commissioner Crețu took good note of the CoR's views on the importance of additional typologies and promised to give due consideration to the recommendations made in the opinion.
The final text follows the Council position with minor technical changes concerning delegated acts. The most important change in comparison to the initial Commission proposal is the clarification that the statistical typologies should not prejudice the identification of specific areas for EU policies (recital 4), which was also a major concern of the CoR, as highlighted in the opinion (point 3 of the policy recommendations: "This must not lead, however, to the new Tercet classification being translated into eligibility rules for any EU policies, including Cohesion Policy"). On the other hand, the proposal of the CoR to complement the list of typologies with additional ones related to territories with specific geographic, economic, social and demographic features was unfortunately not taken on board.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- underlines the importance of European regional statistics as an important instrument for targeted policy-making and a useful tool for understanding and quantifying the impact of political decisions in specific territories;
- notes the European Commission's initiative to amend Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 as regards the territorial typologies (Tercet). Codification of these typologies in one single text could make it possible to aggregate data for different types of territories, ensuring harmonised and transparent application of existing methodologies at both EU and Member State levels. This must not lead, however, to the new Tercet classification being translated into eligibility rules for any EU policies, including Cohesion Policy;
- stresses the need for closer dialogue between the national statistical offices and regional (local) authorities to ensure that the development of the new Tercet classification takes due account of the socio-economic, spatial and administrative specificities of different territories;
- regrets that the Commission's proposal includes a limited number of territorial typologies and does not take account of other typologies related to the territories with specific geographic, economic, social and demographic features that have already been developed and used, namely the typologies on island regions, mountain regions, border regions and sparsely populated regions or outermost regions. The CoR therefore recommends including references to the above-mentioned territorial typologies when modifying the Tercet regulation, with involvement of the Member States and regions.