Open Knowledge Belgium

Almost there: new European rules on open data

Mathias Van Compernolle

Good news for European Open Data enthousiasts:

Member states of the European Union have endorsed new rules for opening up publicly-funded data to developers, businesses and citizens.

The 27 countries agreed on the rule change on Wednesday, according to the European Commission, which is behind the proposed revision of a 2003 directive on public sector information. If the European Parliament adds its stamp of approval, national governments will then transpose the changes into their laws sometime in the next 18 months or so.

What’s the proposition?

The proposition gives developers, businesses and citizens the right to get their hands on public data at low cost or for free. For example, they will be able to use data from museums, libraries and archives for the first time. Public sector bodies will only be able to charge marginal costs for sharing their data, and will also have to be more transparent about their charges. They will also be encouraged to make their data available in machine-readable formats.

Added value?

What’s this thing with opening data? Open data are constructed with public money and become in this way a public ‘good’. The idea of opening data sets by governmental bodies is that it makes it possible to create social and economical impact. For example it’s a chance to bring more transparency in the relation between government and citizens. But we believe it’s as well low-hanging fruit in the creation of economical growth via innovation.

To be continued!

Read more about it on the website of the European Commission logo_ec


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