Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Spatial data - 19.04.2005

Directive's proposal 'INSPIRE": CEMR calls on the European Parliament to take into account the implementation costs for local and regional government
CEMR calls on the European Parliament to amend the text of the Directive proposal with the aim to reduce the implementation costs of INSPIRE for local and regional authorities. The draft proposal aims at harmonising spatial data and at making most of them available for free to the public (many EU local and regional authorities sell their data to recover their costs).
The European Commission has also identified local and regional governments, as collectors and providers of spatial data, as the biggest investors for the new system. Its implementation will cost between 77 and 161 millions euros per year to local and regional governement.
CEMR asks therefore that financial mechanisms are put in place to support the implementation of INSPIRE by local and regional authorities, especially in the initial phase, and that free access to spatial data is restricted compared with the original Commission's proposal.
However, CEMR welcomes the overall objective of the proposal. INSPIRE can also contribute to push forward a necessary harmonisation at the national level. Local and regional governments, as users, can gain an easier access to better spatial data thanks to harmonisation.
In this perspective, there is a need for a right balance between the EU's interests and the interests of local and regional government in spatial information management. The European Parliament should look carefully at the respect of the principle of subsidiarity in INSPIRE.
The vote of the report in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health ant food safety will be on 21 April 2005.
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