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[FYI] EU: Green Paper on Public Information

>From: "DBI / Christoph Albers" <albers@dbi-berlin.de>
>Newsgroups: dream.lists.eubam
>Subject: Information on European funding
>Message-ID: <199901261301.OAA07394@dbix02.dbi-berlin.de>
>Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 13:50:22 +0000
>Organization: Deutsches Bibliotheksinstitut (DBI)


Green Paper on Public Information

Finally - after having been announced again and again since June 1996,
here it is: the Green Paper on Public Sector Information. It can be down-
loaded in English, French, German and Italian at:


The European Commission invites interested people to give their comments
and answers to the questions raised by 1 June 1999. The Commission tries
to find out how information gathered by government departments and other
public bodies can be used to provide greatest benefit to businesses and 
citizens in Europe. A lot of information gathered by public bodies could b=
used by the multimedia industry for developing new products and services. 

Citizens could make better use of their rights if information was readily 
available. But the technical and legal procedures and terms under which
the Member States make this information available are uncoordinated and 
therefore not very transparent for citizens and business.

European industry is said to be at a disadvantage vis-=E0-vis its competit=
ors in
the United States, where the "Freedom of Information Act" was passes alrea=
in 1966, since when American public bodies have granted access free of cha=
or for a small fee to highly developed information systems.

The Green Paper does not suggest that the Member States should gather or
publish more information but that the existing information which is access=
in principle should be made available for use on more transparent and simp=

The Green Paper puts in the 30-pages document a number of questions,

- What are the copyright, data-protection and liability implications?
- What new barriers are created at European level by the fact that the
  conditions for access to this information differ from one Member State t=
- What are the consequences of the fact that the Member States have
  different pricing policies for information of this kind?
- Could the establishment of European metadata help citizen and business i=
  finding their way in the public sector information throughout Europe?
- To what extent are the policies pursued by the European institutions in =
  field of access and dissemination of information adequate?

               Martin Schr"oder, MS@Dream.KN-Bremen.DE
What we see depends on mainly what we look for. (John Lubbock)