The six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) share a common past in a centralized economy. Although, they have evolved at their own pace in slightly different directions, they face common economic, political and social challenges. Dealing with them requires access to reliable, up-to-date information to guide policy development and impact assessments. The institutions involved in the production and dissemination of official statistics play a key role in this process and supporting them is essential.
EU statistical standards are among the most elaborate. Therefore, the European Union seeks to support the six Eastern Partnership countries in their efforts to align their statistical systems with European standards.
The European Commission is therefore funding the STEP project, managed by Eurostat and implemented by Expertise France, in collaboration with the national statistical institutes of EU Member States : Insee (France), ISTAT (Italy), KSH (Hungary), Statistics Denmark et Statistics Lithuania.
Furthermore, as the European statistical system is characterized by high levels of statistical harmonisation in a wide range of areas, it is expected that the Eastern Partnership countries will be able to better compare their trajectories and develop new links of cooperation. Regional cooperation generates a very positive emulation between the countries allowing to progress together towards more quality and comparability in the field of statistics. Also, a regional project provides propitious platform for the identification and promotion of good practices in the region.
Three expected results
• Production and dissemination of statistical data is improved in quality
• Increased level of harmonization of methodologies between Eastern Partnership countries and the EU
• Capacities of the National Statistical Institutes are strengthened by the implementation of the principles of the European Code of Practice in Statistics.
January-June 2019 : inception phase
The inception mission which will be taking place from January to June 2019 foresees a desk study of the existing statistical system in the country. In order to deepen the desk study, the tea of experts perform exploratory missions in each country. The purpose of such missions is to discuss and exchange with the partners on the acquis, their needs and possible priority actions to target.
A mission to the National Institute of Statistics of Armenia (Armstat) took place from 8 to 12 April 2019. The mission consisted in technical meetings by sector (business, agriculture, management etc.) with the national teams to discuss the conformity of the national system with European and International standards and identify the gaps and needs in term of technical assistance.
This mission was also the occasion for the STEP team to have a meeting at the French Ambassy in Yerevan. His Excellency the Ambassador, Mr. Jonathan Lacôte, praised the work of Expertise France in Armenia and more generally in the region through the STEP project and expressed his interest and support for the development of bilateral relations between Armenia and France in the field of technical assistance.