Negotiations in Chapter 18 – Statistics were officially opened At the Intergovernmental Conference on Accession of Montenegro to the European Union, held on 16 December 2014.
The statistics both at local and international level provide the necessary answers to questions from all areas of human life and activity, or the direction of movement of one society and state. Therefore, the quality of the basis on which the official policy of a state is based depends on the quality and availability of statistical data.
Bearing in mind the fact that statistics investigate the variability of mass phenomena and based on their analysis, there is an accurate causality and reliable databases on the basis of which the image of a society and the state is being built, that is, it detects any eventual disorder or progress, the European Union strives for stable and objective statistical systems that provide conditions for making quality decisions. On the other hand, statistics provide a source of reliable data on the basis of which professional assessments and forecasts can be made that are necessary for the quality and organized functioning of any democratic society. Therefore, the availability of accurate and relevant data is essential for obtaining reliable results, ie forecasting the future development directions of the analyzed subject. In this sense, statistics are equally important for decision-makers, both for the citizens, for the public and for the media, in order to better assess the situation in society and the state.
STATISTICS IN THE EU
Since official statistics are significant for the overall quality and efficient functioning of the European Union, European legislation on statistics consists predominantly of the legislation applied in the Member States. The European Union recalls the importance of Member States’ statistics in addressing their problems and challenges. The main bearers of the official national statistics are the national statistical institutes responsible for the coordination of the national statistical system. At the European level, this function is performed by the Statistical Office of the European Union – Eurostat, which collects and publishes statistical data of EU Member States, countries outside the EU, as well as data from international organizations, while Montenegro is the official statistical institution of the Statistical Office – Monstat.
Eurostat’s task is to provide reliable statistics that will enable further analysis and comparisons between countries and regions, and the determination, planning and implementation of further EU policies. In order to provide comparative statistics at the European Union level, the European Statistical System (ESS) is gradually created, representing a partnership between Eurostat and national statistical institutes as well as other national institutions of the member states in charge of the development, production and publication of European statistical data . This partnership includes the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The European Statistical System acts as a network in which Eurostat leads in the harmonization of statistical data in close cooperation with national statistical institutions.
Therefore, EU Member States collect statistical data analyzed by the official statistical institution of that country and forward them to Eurostat. Eurostat further systematizes and consolidates them in order to enable a reliable and efficient comparison of them. In addition to this primary function, Eurostat is also aimed at coordinating the improvement of statistical systems in non-EU countries, and in particular in the candidate countries for EU membership.
Negotiations under chapter 18 on statistics include the harmonization of Montenegrin legal regulations with the EU acquis in the field of statistics. This chapter is considered important because the positive changes that will result from a successful negotiation process will result in better quality, availability and credibility, which will condition the making of the right decisions for the implementation of a common EU policy.