INITIATIVE "GREEN DATA FOR ALL" - Information on the intention to revise the EU INSPIRE Directive

The European Data Strategy has announced the development of a Common European Data Space for the Green Deal, aiming to harness the vast potential of data in supporting the Green Deal’s priority actions related to climate change, circular economy, zero pollution ambition, biodiversity, deforestation, and ensuring compliance. 

This includes the launch of the ‘GreenData4All’ initiative, which consists of assessing and potentially revising the Directive establishing an infrastructure for spatial information in the EU (INSPIRE Directive 2007/2/EC), along with the Directive on access to environmental information (Directive 2003/4/EC). GreenData4All plans to update the rules on environmental spatial data present an opportunity for better governance and access to geospatial information within the European Union (EU). The aim of the initiative would be to modernize both directives to align them with contemporary technology; promote active dissemination and sharing of data held by governments and the private sector in support of environmental legislation and the goals of the European Green Deal; and define and implement interoperable building blocks for sharing public data in the Green Deal data space. 

In its work program for 2022, adopted on October 19, 2021, the European Commission announced that, as part of the European Green Deal, it would propose a revision of both directives, following their assessment in 2021. The legislative proposal, accompanied by an impact assessment, was originally expected in the fourth quarter of 2022. The European Commission issued a call for proposals/comments on February 26, 2024, which was open for feedback until March 25, 2024. 

The “Green Data for All” initiative (GreenDeal4All) will contribute to the European green and digital transformation by updating EU rules on geospatial environmental data and public access to environmental information. Its purposes are: 

  • Enable greater data exchange between the public and private sectors and with the public 
  • Enable all the benefits of data sharing for data-driven innovation and evidence-based decision-making. 

Compared to the INSPIRE Directive, the “Green Data for All” initiative aims to make the INSPIRE Directive an effective and cost-efficient instrument for sharing environmental data in support of environmental policy development and the transition to a more sustainable economy, requiring additional regulations of the INSPIRE Directive. 

This will be achieved by simplifying and modernizing technical provisions for data harmonization, web services – including extensive use of application programming interfaces (APIs) – and metadata, aligning data characteristics and rules on data sharing and reuse with relevant horizontal legislation, considering flexible solutions for setting data characteristics and standards for data sharing through flexible coordination mechanisms to make them future-proof and technologically neutral, but also at other levels such as covered data (distinguishing environmental data and other data, using other non-spatial environmental data through linking attributes to spatial data or as separate data sets) and organizational/managerial structure, among others. 

For this purpose, EuroGeographics, a nonprofit association for national mapping, cadastral, and land registry authorities in Europe (NMCAs), called on all to provide their comments and suggestions. One of the solutions considered in this Call is to redirect the scope of the INSPIRE Directive to environmental data, while non-environmental data (cadastral parcels and agricultural parcels, buildings, road networks, etc.) would be outside the scope – covered by other sectoral tools. Everyone welcomed the modernization of the INSPIRE Directive’s rules but warned that removing location data from its scope could lead to weak or no governance in the geospatial sector. It was added that the GreenData4All initiative should include a specific chapter on geospatial data and their role in the Green Deal data space, noting that the involvement of NMCAs is crucial to overcoming shortcomings in existing governance. 

You can find other opinions at the following link: 

The legislative proposal is now planned for the first quarter of 2025. 

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