The Berlin Process is a diplomatic initiative launched in 2014 and linked to the future enlargement of the European Union. The Berlin Process is targeted at revitalizing the multilateral ties between the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) and selected EU member states, and at fostering regional cooperation in the Western Balkans on the issues of infrastructural and economic development. In the framework of the Berlin Process, five annual summits have been held at the level of foreign affairs ministers of countries taking part in the initiative.
From the EU side the partners of the Berlin Process are:
- since 2014: European Commission, Austria, Germany Croatia and Slovenia
- since 2015: France and Italy
- since 2018: Bulgaria, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom
Within the framework of the Berlin Process, three platforms were established to strengthen cooperation among Western Balkan countries and with the European Union.
- The Civil Society Forum - a platform through which the Western Balkans civil society provides input in the Berlin Process, by elaboration of regionally relevant issues and policies, and by monitoring of progress in realisation of the Process goals and initiatives. Yearly and interim meetings and workshops as well as an on-line consultation interface, provide opportunities for vast consultative processes and for expert-guided formulation of policy recommendations to decision-makers in the region. The Civil Society Forum is coordinated by the European Fund for the Balkans.
- The Business Forum - a forum bringing together the representatives of businesses and their associations from across the Western Balkans with distinguished economists and decision-makers from the region, the EU and the Member States. The Forum serves as a platform for consideration of regional challenges and opportunities and for launching joint initiatives.
- The Youth Forum - a platform for exchange and dialogue, where young people, youth organisations, academia as well as decision-makers from the Western Balkans and the EU Member States discuss common challenges and work towards finding joint solutions.
Poland took over the Presidency in the Berlin Process in 2019, therefore the 6. Western Balkan Summit will be organised by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held on 4-5 July 2019 in Poznan.
On 24-25 April 2019 Statistics Poland organized a meeting with the management and experts from the statistical offices of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
The idea of the meeting was consistent with aims and principles of the Berlin Process, paving the way to future enlargement of the European Union. Its aim is to strengthen regional cooperation among the countries of the Western Balkans and EU members active in the Berlin Process initiative as well as to foster their integration with the EU. In 2019 Poland has taken over the chairmanship in the Berlin Process. In July 2019 a Western Balkan Summit, being a yearly gathering of high representatives from the Western Balkan countries with their counterparts from the European Union, will be one of the central events of the Polish presidency in the Berlin Process.
Along with the representatives of all Western Balkan countries, the meeting was attended by Mr. Eduardo Barredo Capelot - Director of the Department of Methodology, Dissemination and Cooperation in the European Statistical System in Eurostat, as well as by the representatives of the OECD: Ms. Anita Richter and Mr. Filip Stefanovic from the South East Europe Division, representatives of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology.
Statistical offices of Greece and Denmark were also represented by Mr. Athanasios Thanopoulos - President of ELSTAT and Mr. Maciej Truszczyński – SDG expert in Statistics Denmark.
The meeting started with a session on view of data users on the role of statistical offices in developing evidence-based policies and their significance in the decision making process.
During the first day the discussion gathered representatives of all interested parties: administration, NGOs and businesses and was mainly focused on the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The second day of the meeting was dedicated to different methods and approaches to population censuses as well as population migrations statistics, geostatistics and Earth observation. The above areas were chosen according to the interests and needs expressed by the Balkan countries on various occasions and fora.
International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW)
Another forum during which the representatives of Statistics Poland take part are the conferences organized by the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth. It was founded in 1947.
Conferences organized by IARIW are held every two years and raise, inter alia, the problems of methodology of statistical surveys in the field of development of economic and social statistics, including definitions, measurements and analyzes related to income and wealth in these matters. In its activities, IARIW focuses on international comparisons of these issues.
The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century was established by the United Nations, the European Commission, the OECD, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in 1999. Its secretariat is operated by the OECD Statistics and Data Directorate. Paris 21's mission is to reduce poverty and improve governance in developing countries by promoting the inclusion of reliable statistics and data in the decision-making process.
The Board of PARIS 21 consists of representatives of developing countries representing all regions of the world, sponsors and international organizations. Since its creation, PARIS 21
has developed a worldwide network consisting of statisticians, decision makers, analysts and practitioners. The group promotes better use and production of statistics in developing countries. The main purpose of these activities is to help in the development of statistics in the context of building its potential in the design, implementation and monitoring of national development strategies, which aims to create reliable and high-quality data on the basis of which decisions are taken. As a result, this leads to achieving national and international development goals and reducing poverty in low- and middle-income countries. In addition, PARIS 21 co-ordinates donor support to statistics.
Main world regions with active role of Paris 21 are: Eastern Europe, Latin America, Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Oceania, North America.
Statistics Poland participates in surveys and questionnaires conducted by Paris 21, concerning Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development.
The Visegrad Group (also known as the "Visegrad Four" or simply "V4") reflects the efforts of the countries of the Central European region to work together in a number of fields of common interest within the all-European integration. Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have always been part of a single civilization sharing cultural and intellectual values and common roots in diverse religious traditions, which they wish to preserve and further strengthen.
All the V4 countries aspired to become members of the European Union, perceiving their integration in the EU as another step forward in the process of overcoming artificial dividing lines in Europe through mutual support. They reached this aim in 2004 (1st May) when they all became members of the EU.
The V4 was not created as an alternative to the all-European integration efforts, nor does it try to compete with the existing functional Central European structures. Its activities are in no way aimed at isolation or the weakening of ties with the other countries. On the contrary the Group aims at encouraging optimum cooperation with all countries, in particular its neighbours, its ultimate interest being the democratic development in all parts of Europe.
The Visegrad Group wishes to contribute towards building the European security architecture based on effective, functionally complementary and mutually reinforcing cooperation and coordination within existing European and transatlantic institutions.
In order to preserve and promote cultural cohesion, cooperation within the Visegrad Group will enhance the imparting of values in the field of culture, education, science and exchange of information.
All the activities of the Visegrad Group are aimed at strengthening stability in the Central European region. The participating countries perceive their cooperation as a challenge and its success as the best proof of their ability to integrate also into such structures, such as the European Union.
On 19 April 2018, the Hungarian Presidency put forward a proposal that, the Presidents of the National Statistical Institutes of the Visegrad Group - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - sign a Memorandum of Understanding on successful cooperation, exchange of experience and more effective sharing of methodological changes. The Agreement has been signed ceremoniously by Marek Rojíček, President of Czech Statistical Office, Gabriella Vukovich, President of Hungarian Central Statistical Office, Grażyna Marciniak, Vice-President of Statistics Poland and Alexander Ballek, President of Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic.
As part of the enhanced cooperation in the context of the signed Memorandum of Understanding, the National Statistical Institutes of the Visegrad Group members prepare an annual publication presenting the main statistical indicators. Its elaboration is coordinated by the Statistical Office of the country holding the presidency. The first publication was issued at the time of signing the Memorandum (Main Indicators of the Visegrad Group countries 2018).
At the beginning of April 2019, the second publication of the Visegrad group countries was published(Visegrad group countries: Selected indicators of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development) , prepared by the Statistical Office of Slovak Republic (currently holding the presidency of the V4) in cooperation with the National Statistical Offices of the V4 countries. Its main principles have become the key priorities of the Slovak Presidency program (Strong Europe, Secure Environment and Smart Solutions). They were reflected in the presented selection of the Agenda 2030 indicators, which referrer to the countries of the Visegrad Group.
Statistics Poland experts take part in conferences and workshops organized by CIRET, which constitutes a forum for leading economists and institutions, that conduct and analyze business and/or consumer survey data. Since 1953, CIRET has promoted the exchange of knowledge not only of the theoretical, but especially of the operational aspects of economic cycle research. The representatives of national scientific institutions, universities, statistical offices, EU, OECD and ECB belong to CIRET. Statistic Poland joined the Centre in 1996.