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Research topic: Simulation and Monitoring Systems for the EU

SPEL System (1979-1999)

"Sektorales Produktions- und Einkommensmodell der Landwirtschaft"
(Sectoral Production and Income Model of Agriculture)

Joint Project:

  • Department for Economics, Agricultural Policy, and Agricultural Information Systems, University of Bonn
  • European Center for Agricultural, Regional and Environmental Policy Research, EuroCARE Bonn
  • European Commission, GD 34, Eurostat, Luxembourg


  • Agricultural Sector Model
  • Covers supply and demand of agricultural products.
  • Covers the 15 EU Member States and the EU as a whole.
  • Activity-based accounting approach, partly based on econometric and (non-)linear programming methods.
  • Implemented by the European Commission, Eurostat, since 1986.
  • Developed in co-operation by EuroCARE, Eurostat and IAP.
  • Application, maintenance and further developments by EuroCARE and IAP, funded by Eurostat.
  • Development and application period: 1978 until now.


  • Ex-post analyses of sectoral developments.
  • Monitoring and diagnosis of the current situation in the agricultural sectors of EU Member States.
  • Short and medium-term forecasts and policy simulations of the effects of agricultural policy decisions.
  • Consistency check of Eurostat's agricultural statistics.


Historical abstracts

The structure and development of SPEL has largely benefited from the long-standing experience acquired by the IAP (Bonn) in agricultural sector analysis and policy advice since the 1970s (agricultural sector models like DIES, DAPS, and QUISS).
Another basic condition for the development of SPEL was the long-standing and fruitful co-operation of the IAP, EuroCARE and Eurostat. The combination of such different types of institutions has led to an efficient application and maintenance of this complex and data-intensive computer-based policy information system.

Methodological and technical aspects

  • Regionalisation at Member State level, 15 regional units and the EU as a whole.
  • Production activities: 35 crop activities and 13 animal activities.
  • Product groups: 51 crop products, 27 animal products.
  • Intermediate input groups: 9 specific for crop production, 19 specific for animal production, 8 for crop and animal production.
  • Ex-post representation from 1973 until the current year.
  • The basic data source is Eurostat's data bank "NewCRONOS", the partitions ZPA1, COSA, PRAG, FEED, and SEC1.
  • Additional data used from FADN and some national statistical sources.
  • Farm managment data used to complete statistical gaps.

Each regional unit is represented by its own "Activity Based Table of Accounts" (ABTA) and "Matrix of Activity Coefficients" (MAC), covering important production interactions and product flows.

From a technical point of view, the whole system is computer-based. The technical development is based on transparency and flexible user-friendly interfaces. The algorithms, the data flow and data storage are carried out by programmes mainly written in FORTRAN77. Some results of the system are based on (non) linear distribution or optimisation algorithms with linear constraints (MINOS 5.3).

System application

  • The Base System (BS) is regularly applied at Eurostat and EuroCARE (twice a year) in order to update the reference period.
  • The Short-term Forecast and Simulation System (SFSS) is regularly applied in combination with the up-dating of the reference period at Eurostat (twice a year), and further on the request of the European Commission for specific simulations.
  • The SPEL/EU-Data (results of the BS and the SFSS) are published by Eurostat and publicly available on the technical media.
  • The Medium-term Forecast and Simulation System (MFSS) is applied on the request of the European Commission at Eurostat in co-operation with EuroCARE. The reference data set for these simulations is published by Eurostat (up to 7 projection years).
  • The SPEL/EU-Data and the SFSS are implemented and applied in the policy decision-making process of 8 EU Member States.


List of SPEL Literature,
SPEL-Veröffentlichungen (Eurostat)

SPEL contacts in Bonn:


Last Updated:Thursday, September 04, 2014