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European Commission - Press release

Digital Agenda: Commission requests Estonia and Slovakia to comply with public sector information rules

Brussels, 27 October 2011 - The European Commission has requested Estonia and Slovakia to bring their laws in line with EU rules on the re-use of public sector information (PSI). These countries are not currently guaranteeing fair conditions for re-use of public sector information, in breach of the EU's PSI Directive. Estonia and Slovakia have failed to correctly implement most provisions of the Directive, including the prohibition of discriminatory or monopolistic practices by public bodies.

The requests take the form of reasoned opinions – the second stage of EU infringement procedures. Both countries now have two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to ensure full compliance with the EU PSI Directive. After this time, the Commission may refer the Member States to the EU's Court of Justice.

By not properly implementing the PSI Directive, Estonia and Slovakia are preventing their citizens and businesses from benefiting from the re-use of public sector information for new products and services, such as car navigation systems, weather forecasts or many of the useful applications available on smart phones. These products and services are made possible by adapting and/or linking geographical, legal or statistical data held by public bodies.

Background

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.

The PSI Directive (2003/98/EC) was adopted in 2003 and the Commission is currently revising it as a part of a wider package stimulating open data in the EU.

Useful links:

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/739

More information, including the study, is available at the Commission's PSI website:

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

Contacts:

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58)

Linda Cain (+32 2 299 90 19)


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