What is the problem?
Public sector information remains an underexploited resource and further steps are needed to unlock its full potential, especially in the light of an incoherent approach to PSI re-use within and across the Member States.
The need for guidance in the field of PSI re-use, in particular with regard to licensing and charging, was one of the main requests formulated during an extensive public consultation that fed into the Impact Assessment for the revision of the PSI Directive.
Such soft law measures were deemed necessary to promote best practice in re-use of government data across the EU and to connect exemplary public sector bodies with those that have not yet made their data available for re-use.
Why is EU action required?
Recital 18 of the draft revised Directive on of the re-use of public sector information (PSI Directive) (adoption expected in Q2 2013), which itself is a part of a wider Open Data Strategy, calls upon the Commission to issue guidelines in order to help the Member States in implementing the legal provisions in a consistent way.
The guidelines are therefore a necessary element of the strategy that further includes legislative measures, support to R&D on data, development of European data-portals and other actions designed to facilitate EU-wide access to PSI and to stimulate the creation of information products based on PSI re-use.
What has the Commission done so far?
In parallel to updating the legal framework on the re-use of PSI, the Commission has been in close contact with the Member States in the framework of an expert group (PSI Group) which meets regularly to discuss issues directly linked to the re-use of public sector information and to promote the exchange of best practices in this field.
What will the Commission do?
The Commission, in line with its commitment formulated in the recitals of the revised PSI Directive, will issue a series of guidelines on recommended standard licenses, datasets and charging for the re-use of documents, after consulting interested parties.