EU Kommissær Neelie Kroes om åbne offentlige data

23-09-2011 17:02:24

På OpenForum Europe Summit 2011 i Bruxelles den 22. september holdt EU Kommissær med ansvar for 'Den Digitale Agenda', Neelie Kroes, en tale med titlen

"Opening up Europe: from Common Standards to Open Data"

Nedenstående er den del af talen, som handlede om åbne offentlige data og om den forestående revision af PSI-direktivet, som er det EU-fælles lovgrundlag for videreanvendelse af offentlige data:

"We are going to take action: we are going to open up Europe's public sector.

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. If we became able to mine it, that would be an investment which would pay off with benefits for all of us.

Benefits for the citizen and for society, because making good use of public data can make your life better. Whether it's route planning using public geo-information or public transport data; a local community crowd-sourcing its maintenance priorities; decision-making built on statistics of all shapes and sizes; or data journalism that helps explain our world.

Second, benefits for the economy, as business opportunities to use such data increase. Especially if we spread data as wide as possible to give every idea a chance rather than locking it up in exclusive licensing arrangements. I want to see many companies turning their ideas into revenues and many citizens benefitting.

Third, benefits for science. Because research in genomics, pharmacology or the fight against cancer increasingly depends on the availability and sophisticated analysis of large data sets. Sharing such data means researchers can collaborate, compare, and creatively explore whole new realms. We cannot afford for access to scientific knowledge to become a luxury, and the results of publicly funded research in particular should be spread as widely as possible.

Fourth, of course there is some self-interest in this as well: there are benefits for the public sector itself. Think of the potential efficiency gains. Many that thought they knew it all will be inspired – and humbled – by what others will make of “their” data. Others will simply be learning by example how to better analyse and use it.

And, perhaps most importantly, benefits for democracy because it enhances transparency, accessibility and accountability. After all, what could be more natural than public authorities who have collected information on behalf of citizens using their tax money giving it back to those same citizens. New professionals such as data journalists are our allies in explaining what we do.

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.

And so at the end of November, I will be proposing to my fellow Commissioners that we adopt our next steps on the re-use of public sector information, and a proposal for an improved Directive. I want requirements to be more encompassing, and specifications improved. In particular, 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". In short, getting out the data under reasonable conditions should be a routine part of the business of public administrations.

Before you ask me, let me confirm: of course the Commission should practice what it preaches. So we will also be updating the rules for the re-use of our own data and I hope these rules will find champions in other European Institutions too.

We are planning two data portals to give simple and systematic access to public data at European level. First we should have, by next spring, a portal to the Commission’s own data resources. And second, for 2013, I am working on a wider, pan-European data portal, eventually giving access to re-usable public sector information from across the EU, federating and developing existing national and regional data portals."

Læs også hele talen.