What To Do

Contents

  1. Who’s responsible for INSPIRE?
    1. ENVI Committee in Parliament
    2. MEPs
    3. Council of Ministers
    4. Guidelines

If public access to geodata is important to your activity as a business, a local government agency, a research department, a free software development project, how can you get involved in raising awareness of the issue and attempting to influence the European decision-making process?

The INSPIRE Directive on sharing state-collected geographic data in Europe is going through what’s known as the co-decision procedure where the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament make amendments to the wording of the legislation and debate each others’ amendments. See also the INSPIRE timeline for more of the history.

The Council is comprised of Environment Ministers for each country. Contact Your Minister for your own country – we have provided email and postal contact details where we could find them – and ask for their position on open access to public geodata. If you get a response, send your correspondance to us and it will be featured on the website.

The Arguments in favour of open access may help formulate a letter.

Who’s responsible for INSPIRE?

ENVI Committee in Parliament

The rapporteur for INSPIRE in the European Parliament is Ms Freida BREPOELS MEP (BE) and her contact is fbrepoels-assistant@europarl.eu.int. She is from the right wing Conservative Party EPP-ED, the biggest group of the Parliament.

MEPs

At Third Reading MEPs will get the chance to vote once more on the amendments that the Council submits to the Parliament. MEPs no longer get to contribute suggestions or changes. ContactYourMEP

Council of Ministers

Contact Your Minister – each country’s Environment minister will vote on a set of Amendments to go back to the Parliament. Coreper is responsible for putting the Council’s agenda together and doing the negotiation legwork needed to establish a compromise between the stance of the Commission and the Parliament (free public view, restraints on cost) and that of the Council (only free search, and copyrighted data can be exempted from that).

Guidelines

  1. First state your background and why you are concerned about the issue (as a stakeholder: GIS company, Geo student, GIS professional, concerned citizen, Academic, etc…)
  2. Try to structure your message clearly; focus on one or two key points that directly concern you. Arguments in favour of public access to public data, and against the exemptions due to intellectual property rights, may be useful here.

  3. Hard numbers and definite economic data are what is needed to convince at this point.
  4. Consider EU and National policies that might be in conflict with any of the 1st reading positions. For example data not available for security reasons but Europe has a open skies policy, satellite imagery is available from sources outside of the EU. What is needed here are real live examples that can be referred to – not just words or myths – but real substance.
  5. Report your discussions with MEPs on the [Forums]