On January 24, 2013, the PSI Group met on the premises of European Commission in Luxembourg for a discussion of the recent advancements in open data activities across the European Union. The PSI Group consists of representatives from all of the EU member states, most of whom were present at the meeting and reported on progress in the domain of public sector information in their respective countries.
The meeting participants gave oftentimes fascinating accounts of the last year’s changes in the regimes governing public sector information and described related activities promoting openness of public data, including establishments of open data portals, freeing up licensing restrictions, and facilitating easier access to public data. For example, Danish delegate informed about Denmark’s Basic Register Program and representative from Finland announced plans for publishing government linked data during this year.
The event’s agenda included talks from the EU officials from the recently established Data Value Chain unit; first one covering the EU policies for open data and second explaining the future plans for the pan-European data portal. Several adjacent topics were brought to the fore in three invited talks. Ton Zijlstra provided a report on the results of the PSI Scoreboard survey done by the ePSIPlatform. Chris Taggart from OpenCorporates gave a talk on the transparency of complex company networks. Finally, by the end of the day, Jindřich Mynarz from the LOD2 consortium shared some experiences from applying linked open data to public procurement.
The talks were interspersed with rounds of discussions on the presented topics, delving into the details for specific EU countries. During the day, the meeting’s participants were given homeworks to do; one of which was to check whether the data catalogues in their countries are listed and harvested by the LOD2-maintained PublicData.eu, a catalogue aggregating Europe’s public data. Thus, the meeting resulted not only in a fruitful discussion of open data practices within the EU but also in participants taking commitments for concrete actions.