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[FYI] Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on 'Public sector information'
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CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2000.
Record Control Number: 14421
Category: General policy
The opinion of the Committee of the Regions on the Commission's green
paper on public sector information in the Information Society,
entitled 'Public sector information: a key resource for Europe', has
been published on the Official Journal of the European Communities.
As a principle, the COR supports the right of European citizens to
have access to the information that affects their daily lives.
The opinion notes the rapid growth of the Internet has meant that
local and regional authorities are able to provide greater access to
the information they hold. However, cultural and administrative
differences mean the provision of this information can vary greatly.
The COR says the Commission may wish to reflect on the most
appropriate channels for providing information and to whom the
information should be addressed.
The need for protection and privacy of personal data is also noted in
The COR also states that local and regional authorities should be
able to benefit from the commercial values inherent in the provision
The COR expressed its support on many principles regarding the terms
of access and provision of public information, although it cautioned
on the need to address practical issues of delivery of information
The COR is also concerned about introducing binding legal information
in this field, which may mitigate against the principle of
subsidiarity. The COR suggests developing legislation at a 'lowest
common denominator' level, and developing 'best practice' in the
provision of the public sector.
The Commission could consult via the COR with local and regional
authorities to discuss the role of sub-national government in the
provision of public sector information. The COR proposes a number of
'pilot' local and regional authorities across the Member States be
selected for this purpose, to report to the Commission on how
principles of access could be translated into reality and on whether
it would be possible to achieve greater commonality in information
To achieve a good dialogue between local, regional and national tiers
of government, the COR would wish to see the encouragement of schemes
in which local webmasters input information provided by the public
Furthermore, the COR notes that there is a growing need for education
and training on accessing information delivered electronically, and
would recommend that the Commission stresses this need to the Member
For further information please consult the text on the Official
Journal of the European Communities.
Data Source Provider: Official Journal of the European Communities
Document Reference: OJ No C 57 of 29.2.2000, p 12
Subject Index Codes: Information Processing, Information Systems