Public sector information is a large source of information in the EU and a critical asset for the development of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.
Allowing the re-use of such data could have a great impact on innovation and economic growth. On 25 April, the European Commission released a proposal to review the so-called ‘PSI Directive’ with the aim to increase the amount of public sector data available for commercial and non-commercial re-use.
The proposal expands the scope of the Directive to public undertakings and publicly funded research. Cities would, therefore, benefit from new sources of data to improve their knowledge on public services managed by other entities, as well from research data. It also creates the new category of ‘high value datasets’, expected to be listed by the European Commission after an appropriate consultation has been carried out.
Local authorities would be subjected to new obligations such as releasing dynamic data In ‘real time’ in an API format in order to facilitate its re-use. Because charges are often seen as a barrier for SMEs, access to public sector data should be free of charge, or limited to marginal costs. Cities will also have to comply with an obligation for transparency in case a practical or legal arrangement would lead to a restriction of the availability and re-use of such data at the benefice of large companies, which would be in principle prohibited.
EUROCITIES will closely monitor the legislative development in the European Parliament as well as the European Commission’s work related to the adoption of a list of ‘high-value datasets’.