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IP/09/1011

Brussels, 25 June 2009

Commission steps up legal action against Poland for incorrect transposition of EU public sector information rules

Today the European Commission stepped up legal action against Poland for wrongly transposing EU rules on the re-use of public sector information (PSI) into Polish law. Polish legislation does not contain crucial provisions of the EU's 2003 PSI Directive, including obligations on non discrimination and prohibition of exclusive agreements. As a result, wrong transposition prevents reusers to know the full extent of their rights established by the Directive and to rely on them before the national courts. In its reasoned opinion, the second step in the infringement procedure, the Commission asks Poland to take the necessary steps to comply with the EU rules on PSI within two months. If Poland does not comply with the PSI Directive within this time limit, the Commission can refer the case to the Court of Justice.

The Commission has stepped up legal action against Poland because the country has not transposed all the main provisions of the EU's 2003 PSI Directive ( IP/08/814 ). Based on information provided by the Polish government, the Commission thinks that Polish legislation does not yet contain the general principle related to individuals' rights to re-use public sector information and the public sector bodies' corresponding obligations as set out in EU PSI rules. Polish law also lacks provisions on subject matter, procedural requirements and specific conditions of re-use, and also provisions on non-discrimination and prohibition of exclusive arrangements.

For these reasons, the Commission sent today a second warning – the reasoned opinion – to the Polish authorities. Poland has now two months to take the necessary steps to comply with the PSI Directive and remedy this violation of Community law. If Poland fails to comply with the PSI Directive within this time limit, the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice. The Commission started the infringement procedure against Poland in October 2008 ( IP/08/1524 ).

Background:

European citizens on a daily basis use products and services based on the vast amounts of information produced, collected and shared by public sector bodies, such as car navigation systems, weather forecasts and financial and insurance services. But despite its economic value, estimated at €27 billion, much of Europe's public sector information, from statistics to traffic information, is still not re-used, concluded the Commission in its review of the PSI Directive published on 7 May 2009. The Commission called upon the Member States to take proactive measures to facilitate reuse and remove existing barriers, in order to realise the full economic potential of public sector information for the EU economy. In particular, the Member States should terminate the exclusive arrangements and promote quick and inexpensive conflict resolution mechanisms, whereas the Commission will focus on closely monitoring a correct implementation and application of the PSI Directive in the Member States.

M ore information is available at the Commission's PSI Website:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/psi/


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