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Concluding remarks

The lack of transparency of public sector information throughout Europe forms a substantial barrier for citizens and business alike that want to exercise the rights granted by the EC Treaty and benefit of the advantages of the internal market.

At the same time the European information industry is faced with a plethora of different laws and practices which the Commission believes may be preventing them from fully exploiting Europe’s information potential.

Subject to the responses to this Green Paper and, in particular, comments on the regulatory or other barriers and obstacles which may hinder the possibilities for access and exploitation of public sector information, consideration can be given to what, if any, response may be required at European level.

Such response could for example address:

  • Legislation (e.g. need for recommendations, guidelines or binding measures).
  • Information exchange throughout Europe, allowing public bodies to learn from each others experiences.
  • Awareness raising at all levels (citizens, business and administrations) concerning the existing information sources.
  • Demonstration and pilot projects allowing the spread of technologies supporting new information services and experiments with new models of public/private partnerships.
  • Education and Training initiatives enhancing the information management capacities of administrations and individuals.

Comments are invited on these possible fields for action or concerning any other type of measures felt to be appropriate.

Question 10 :
Which actions should be given priority attention at European level?

List of Questions

The following list recapitulates the questions raised in Chapter III.

  1. Which definition of public sector is the most appropriate in your view?

    What categories of public sector information should be used in the debate?

  2. Do different conditions for access to public sector information in the Member States create barriers at European level?

    If so, what elements are concerned: requirement of an interest, exemptions, time, format, quantity?

    What solutions can be envisaged?

  3. Could the establishment of European meta-data (information on the information that is available) help the European citizens and businesses in finding their way in the public sector information throughout Europe?

    If so, how could this best be realised?

    What categories of content should directories of public sector information resources contain?

  4. What bearing do different pricing policies have on the access to and exploitation of public information?

    Does this create differences in opportunities for citizens and businesses at European level?

  5. To what extent and under what conditions, could activities of public sector bodies on the information market create unfair competition at European level?

  6. Do different copyright regimes within Europe represent barriers for exploitation of public sector information?

  7. Do privacy considerations deserve specific attention in relation to the exploitation of public sector information?

    In what way could commercial interests justify access to publicly held personal data?

  8. To what extent may the different Member States’ liability regimes represent an obstacle to access or exploitation of public sector information?

  9. To what extent are the policies pursued by the EU institutions in the field of access and dissemination of information adequate?

    In what way can they further be improved?

  10. Which actions should be given priority attention at European level?
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