The current Spanish Constitution, approved in December 1978, articulates the Spanish State in 17 Autonomous Communities, on of which is the Basque Country or Euskadi, in which the Historic Territories of Alava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa are integrated.
In December 1979 the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country was approved, by which the Basque Country was granted the right to have its own Government and Parliament
The Statute establishes the exclusive power of the Basque Country in the production of statistics for its own purposes. In developing this power, the Basque Government created the Statistics Office in1980, as a central provisional body for the statistical production of Euskadi, thus giving expression to the interest and wish to equip the Basque Country with its own high level administrative statistical unit. Since this date, the production of statistics has been, year after year, an unquestionable development, both in the resources assigned and the technical effort made.
In this way, the Community’s statistical information needs have been met with a suitable level of territorial and sectorial desegregation, in shorter periods and with a more widespread level of diffusion. Moreover, these needs were unable to be met by official state statistics.
In order to set within a frame and rationalise the statistical activity of the Autonomous Community, equiping it with harmonious and structural elements, the Basque Parliament approved, in April 1986, the Statistics Act of the Basque Country. This was the first of its kind in the whole of the Spanish State and created the Basque Statistics Institute (EUSTAT) as an administrative Autonomous Organism.
The Law establishes three fundamental aspects in relation with statistical activity: on the one hand, it sets the general framework for planning and programming statistical operations that must be taken up and developed; on the other hand, it determines the organisation required to define, design, execute and publish such operations and, finally, it regulates in great detail the duty to inform and the aspect of confidentiality to which all the data supplied individually by informers is subject.
The statistical operations to be taken up at each moment are established expressly through the Statistical Plans, which must be approved in the form of a Law by the Basque Parliament. The Plans establish the list of statistical operations to be carried out by the Basque Statistical Organisation over a four year period, and the Organisms responsible for carrying them out.
The Statistical Plans are developed through the Annual Statistical Programmes approved by the Basque Government, where the details of the characteristics of each statistical operation in the Programmes are established, i.e.: objectives, periodicity, informants, Organism responsible for carrying it out, date of publication of the results, costs by stages, etc.
Up to present the Plans for 1989-1992, 1993-1996, 1997-2000, 2001-2004, 2005-2008 have been carried out and currently in force is the Basque Estatistics Plan 2010-2012 (PDF, 1,7MB, spanish-basque only), which provides for the execution of 226 statistical operations with a total approximate cost of 68.145.063 €, distributed as follows:
|Statistical operations||N. of operations|
|Territorial and environmental statistics||22|
The number of operations taken on, according to the different Plans, has increased steadily: from 111 operations between 1989 and1992, increasing to 119 in the four year period 1993 to1996, 133 in the four year period 1997 to 2000, 181 in the four year period 2001 to 2004, 180 in the four year period 2005 to 2008 and reaching 226 in the current Plan 2010-2012, with an important rise in levels of effectiveness and efficiency in Basque statistical system activity.
In addition, The Basque Statistics Law created the Basque Statistical Organisation, which is made up of the following bodies and organs:
Of the 226 operation included in the Basque Statistics Plan 2010-2012, EUSTAT is responsible for carrying out 123 (54.42%) and the rest correspond to the Organisms: 103 (45.58%).
The Basque Statistics Law places EUSTAT as a central element in this Organisation, attributing to it, among other, the following functions and powers:
To develop its activity in the fields of statistical production, research and development, training etc., EUSTAT has signed collaboration agreements with state Organisms, such as the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE) or different Spanish Government Ministries, or with Basque Government Departments, different Universities or Autonomous Communities, etc., while participating actively in international projects and collaborating with Organisms such as the European Union Statistics (EUROSTAT), Swedish Statistics Agencies (SCB), Dutch Agencies (CBS), French Agencies (INSEE), etc, and in trans-frontier projects together with Navarre and the French region of Aquitaine..
EUSTAT is a member of the International Statistics Institute (ISI), the International Association of Official Statistics (IAOS), the International Association of Statistics Researchers (IAAS), and the Comité Interterritorial de Estadística del Estado Español and the Asociation Española de Estadística e Investigation Operativa (EIO).