European Statistics Day 2021 – ESAC Statement

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Motto: Statistics, a vaccine to protect democracy and combat the virus of disinformation.

The European Democracy Action Plan 2019-2024, presented by the European Commission, highlighted the need to empower citizens and build more resilient democracies across the EU.

Democracies worldwide face the proliferation, similar to that of a virus, of false or biased information that potentially has the power to quickly destabilize democratic institutions and undermine citizens’ choices and trust.

Strengthening democratic resilience means tackling disinformation by having high-quality statistical data that citizens can fully trust, which the European Statistical System produces.

High-quality statistical data, supported by statistical methodologies based on recognised scientific criteria, provide essential information to support people, businesses, and organizations in taking appropriate decisions and actions.

In the information society we live in, it is vital to confront current and future social and environmental challenges with statistics that are widely used and understood. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the high importance of being well informed and of having trustworthy and up-to-date data on which to base policy decisions to prevent the spread of the virus.

In summary, the heart of our message for European Statistics Day 2021 is the need to defeat disinformation by strengthening the production and use of high-quality statistical information with the highest standards of transparency and accountability, as a vital means of protecting freedom and democracy.

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