Harmonisation and comparability within the European context

The European System of Accounts (ESA) 2010 is the EU’s framework for compiling key macroeconomic statistics, such as the national accounts, the financial accounts and the balance sheets of Member States. It is based on the UN’s System of National Accounts (SNA) 2008, which is applicable worldwide.

In accordance with EU Regulation No 549/2013, all EU Member States are obliged to adopt the ESA 2010 Regulation. These rules include a methodology and a transmission programme for sending data to Eurostat. The transmission programme sets the deadline, the frequency and the time of the transmission for each table, aggregate and variable.

It is essential that Member States’ transmitted data can be compared with each other as Eurostat uses the transmitted data to calculate aggregate results for the EU and the euro area. These results serve, amongst other things, as the basis for European economic, monetary and social policies.

The ESA 2010 is a refinement of its predecessor, the ESA 1995. It includes 11 new chapters on topics such as measuring financial services, insurance and private pensions.

A major revision of the data takes place at regular intervals in order to ensure the long-term consistency of annual and quarterly data.