The following post is by Theodora Middleton, the OKFN Blog Editor.
News in from the European Commission, which has announced that they will be adopting a new Open Data Strategy from the 29th November. The aims of the strategy are to increase government transparency, and hopefully generate overall economic gains of around €40 billion a year for the EU.
The strategy, first proposed in November 2010, will involve a modification of the existing Directive on the re-use of public sector information, and the deployment of measures such as a creation of open data portals at European level. Currently, the release of public sector information in the EU is governed by the 2003 Directive (2003/98/EC) on the re-use of public sector information. The Directive has undoubtedly helped improve harmonization across Europe, but there is much more work to be done in standardising rules around issues such as licensing and pricing, as well as promoting better practices across the Union. The persistent lack of interoperability, and failure to make information available in machine-readable formats, are preventing the social and economic potential of public sector data from being realised, and according to the Commission fragmenting the markets for data-based products and services across the Union.
According to Euroalert: “A recent study has shown that in 2010 the market for products and services based on public sector information was estimated to be worth around €32 billion across the EU, according to a recent study. The same study indicated that further opening up of public sector information by allowing easier access would generate overall economic gains of around €40 billion a year for the EU.”
What do you want to see from Europe’s Open Data Strategy? Got any worries about how it’s going to work out? How will it affect your projects? Tell us about it below, join the OKF EU Open Data mailing list for more discussion and debate, or get in touch with blog [at] okfn [dot] org if you’d like to write something here!