Dr. Savas Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, received the delegation of Eurostat comprising of Mr. Pieter Everaers, Director of the Directorate A – Cooperation in the European Statistical System, International Cooperation, Resources; and Mr. Ferenc Gálik, Statistical Officer at the Unit A6 – Statistical Cooperation on 25 January 2013 at the SESRIC Headquarters in Ankara- Turkey. The delegation was accompanied by the officials from the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey and Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
At the outset, Dr. Alpay welcomed the delegates and first briefed them on the recently inaugurated new headquarters of the Centre. He said that the Government of the Republic of Turkey donated the Centre the land in the new Diplomatic District in Ankara and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Qatar, State of Kuwait and State of United Arab Emirates provided generous financial contributions to the construction budget of the new Headquarters. As the Centre has a view to reach more result-oriented activities and soundly coordinated actions to address the challenges facing the OIC member countries, Dr. Alpay added that the Centre is in the process of expanding its human resources in its mandated activities. As to the statistical activities of the Centre, Dr. Alpay mentioned that although recently established the OIC-Statistical Commission plays an important role among the member countries by acting as a platform to share and exchange knowledge and best practices that can help them become more efficient in managing their national statistical systems. The Director General of SESRIC went on to say that so far three working groups and technical committee of experts have been established to follow up various issues specific to OIC member countries. Dr. Alpay also summarized the characteristics of trainings delivered under the Statistical Capacity Building (StatCaB) Programme of SESRIC and stated that StatCaB trainings are actually a win-win situation for both the experts of the provider OIC member country and trainees of the beneficiary OIC member country.
On his part, Mr. Everaers thanked Dr. Alpay for receiving the Eurostat delegation. He mentioned that about 25 to 30 courses are delivered per year under Eurostat programmes which both focus on traditional and emerging areas of official statistics. Mr. Everaers also summarized the activities oriented towards the ten MedStat countries which are also OIC member countries. In this regard, he proposed that SESRIC can be a facilitator for the OIC member countries for their application in the European Statistical Training Programme (ESTP) as the Programme may admit applicants from statistical offices of non-European countries, as well. He went on to say that the statistics is getting more policy oriented and focus on quality is increasing. In this regard, Mr. Everaers mentioned that good governance, cooperation between Eurostat and regional organisations, and generic tools gain importance.
The two parties then discussed on areas of possible cooperation between SESRIC and Eurostat.