23 September 2011

EU - Opening up Europe: from Common Standards to Open Data

Speech by Neelie Kroes, Vice President, European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, OpenForum Europe Summit 2011, Brussels 22nd September 2011. I am convinced that the potential to re-use public data is significantly untapped. Such data is a resource, a new and valuable raw material. Since 2003 the Directive on the re-use of public sector information has regulated this field establishing the principle that public authorities should make data available and let individuals and businesses make use of it. Our consultation on the review of that Directive got a wide response. The consensus was that the principles of the Directive are valid, namely, the importance of public sector information as a raw material and the economic and social value in its re-use. But we need to clarify how those principles are put into practice. And maybe get rid of a few exceptions or loopholes. We'll be looking at the way data is disclosed - the formats and the way data licenses operate to make re-use straightforward in practice. We'll also be looking at charging regimes because expensive data isn't "open data". will also be updating the rules for the re-use of our own data. We are planning two data portals to give simple and systematic access to public data at European level.