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European System of national and regional accounts in the Community

11 December 2009
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 10 June 2010

The purpose of this Regulation is to make available comparable, up-to-date and reliable information on the structure and developments in the economic situation of the Member States of the EU and their regions.


This system of national accounts meets the requirements of the Community's economic and social policy. It also contributes to management of the economic and monetary union (EMU) and is thus an important tool in analysing the economic situation in a particular country or region.


Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 of 25 June 1996 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the Community.


The European system of national and regional accounts ("ESA 1995") makes it possible to describe the total economy of a region, country or group of countries, its components and its relations with other total economies.

The ESA is focused on the circumstances and needs of the EU. It can therefore serve as the central framework of reference for the social and economic statistics of the European Union and its Member States.

Content of the ESA

The ESA 1995 comprises two sets of tables:

  • the sector accounts;
  • the input-output framework * and the accounts by industry.

The purpose of this Regulation is to set up the ESA 1995 by providing for:

  • a methodology on common standards, definitions, classifications and accounting rules, that is intended to be used for compiling accounts and tables on comparable bases between the Member States for the purposes of the Community;
  • a programme, EUROSTAT, for transmitting on precise dates the accounts and tables compiled according to the ESA 1995.


The Commission uses the national accounts aggregates for Community administrative and budgetary calculations. The ESA applies to all Community acts in which reference is made to it or to the definitions it lays down.

Key terms used in the act

Sector accounts: these provide, by institutional sector, a systematic description of the different stages of the economic process: production, generation of income, distribution of income, redistribution of income and use of income, as well as financial and non-financial accumulation; they also include balance sheets to describe the stocks of assets, liabilities and net worth at the beginning and at the end of the accounting period.

Input-output framework and accounts by industry: these describe in more detail the production process (cost structure, income generated and employment) and the flows of goods and services (output, imports, exports, intermediate consumption and capital formation by product group).


Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 - 20.12.1996 - OJ L 310 of 30.11.1996

Amending acts:

Regulation (EC) No 448/98 - 27.02.1998 - OJ L 58 of 27.02.1998
Regulation (EC) No 1500/2000 - 01.08.2000 - OJ L 172 of 12.07.2000
Regulation (EC) No 2516/2000 - 07.12.2000 - OJ L 290 of 17.11.2000
Regulation (EC) No 995/2001 - 12.06.2001 - OJ L 139 of 23.05.2001
Regulation (EC) No 2558/2001 - 28.12.2001 - OJ L 344 of 28.12.2001
Regulation (EC) No 113/2002 - 13.02.2002 - OJ L 21 of 24.01.2002
Regulation (EC) No 359/2002 - 20.03.2002 - OJ L 58 of 28.02.2002
Regulation (EC) No 1267/2003 - 07.08.2003 - OJ L 180 of 18.07.2003


Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1150/2000 of 22 May 2000 implementing Decision 94/728/EC, Euratom on the system of Community own resources [Official Journal L 130 of 31.05.2000].

Council Regulation (EC) No 3605/93 of 22 November 1993 on the application of the Protocol on the excessive deficit procedure annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community [Official Journal L 332 of 31.12.1993].

Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 1553/89 of 29 May 1989 on the definitive uniform arrangements for the collection of own resources accruing from value added tax [Official Journal L 155 of 07.06.1989].

Council Directive 89/130/EEC, Euratom of 13 February 1989 on the harmonisation of the compilation of gross national product at market prices [Official Journal L 49 of 21.02.1989].