Saturday 31 January 2015

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Crunch time! EurActory beta goes live

Posted by on 30/01/15
Yesterday was crunch time for EurActory, EU Community’s first tool to identify relevant EU experts. We found ourselves surrounding by 150+ potential users, eager to take a peek at the platform. So we pitched EurActory…

New tool for EU Experts – EurActory: let’s recap

Posted by on 28/01/15

EU Community will launch the beta version of its first, free service EurActory on 29 January at the European Parliament. But first, we explain the idea one ‘frequently asked question’ at a time.

 

FAQ7 – Hold on, let’s recap

In the past few days, we have written about EurActory and what it is for. About which profiles you can expect to find on EurActory… and whether you’re included. About the features we’ll release in the coming months. Or about the people building EurActory behind the scenes.

Here’s all of that, and more, in a nutshell:

Share, tweet or link to our video if you like it. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

EU Community on TwitterLinkedInFacebook

 

New tool for EU experts – What is EU Community?

Posted by on 26/01/15

EU Community will launch the beta version of its first, free service EurActory on 29 January at the European Parliament. But first, we explain the idea one ‘frequently asked question’ at a time.

 

FAQ6 – What is EU Community?

More and more people are engaged in the public debate, through a variety of platforms. This has broadened the conversation and spurred transparency. But policy makers are overwhelmed by the growing amount of press releases, reports, opinions, or tweets.

EU Community works to transform this public sphere into a collaborative community for of EU policy professionals.

How will that work? The EU Community team is developing a series of services and tools to structure and visualise this information on people and documents.

All services are designed in open format and will:

  • provide analytics and visual intelligence on EU policy making;
  • allow you to grasp what others in the EU Community think;
  • allow you to share your expertise with others more efficiently and openly;
  • will save you time.

EurActory is a first tool in development; others will follow soon.

Combining community input with new technology, EU Community will make EU policy making more efficient, EU Community input more relevant and EU working life more productive.

 

EU Community on TwitterLinkedInFacebook

 

New tool for EU experts – Who is behind EurActory?

Posted by on 23/01/15

EU Community will launch the beta version of its first, free service EurActory on 29 January at the European Parliament. But first, we explain the idea one ‘frequently asked question’ at a time.

 

FAQ5 – Who is behind EurActory?

At the very beginning of the project, the initiators were confronted with a challenge. The tools and applications on the table would require topnotch technology experts just as much as creative policy experts.

Having useful apps would require people who understand data, tech and development to team up with people who know the EU policy-making process… and know the community of EU experts.

EurActory is developed by a consortium of eight organisations as part of EU Community. EU Community is initiated by EurActiv.com, coordinated by Intrasoft and executed together with the other consortium members which are leading research centres and ICT enterprises.

The consortium includes:

EU Community is co-funded by the European Commission’s directorate general for communications networks, content & technology, known as DG CONNECT. It won a Call for Proposals under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research(FP7).

 

EU Community on TwitterLinkedInFacebook

 

New tool for EU experts – What will EurActory look like in the future?

Posted by on 22/01/15

EU Community will launch the beta version of its first, free service EurActory on 29 January at the European Parliament. But first, we explain the idea one ‘frequently asked question’ at a time.

 

FAQ4 – What will EurActory look like in the future?

Next week, we release the ‘beta version’ of EurActory: a first version, designed to cater to EU professionals’ first needs and to trigger feedback to make it a better tool.

Our next move is ranking. We are working on a sophisticated ranking system, to launch early 2015, which will allow you to identify the most relevant experts per EU policy field within seconds.

To do this, EurActory is developing an algorithm that takes into account a person’s organisational standing, online and offline connections, peer-rated credibility, professional experience and other criteria. This ranking system will be released in full transparency.

EurActory will show which experts have built up a credibility on certain policy topics. Which experts stand out. The system will be rolled out after thorough double-checking the algorithm to make it match the actual world of EU affairs as much as possible.

EU Community will focus on our three pilot topics first, starting with developing the ranking feature for the topic Energy Union.

If you’re curious, connect on social media and you’ll know all about it as soon as the time is right.

 

EU Community on TwitterLinkedInFacebook

 

New tool for EU experts – EurActory: Why am I not in there?

Posted by on 21/01/15

EU Community will launch the beta version of its first, free service EurActory on 29 January at the European Parliament. But first, we explain the idea one ‘frequently asked question’ at a time.


FAQ3 – Why am I not in there?

EurActory currently has over 10,000 experts on EU policy. These are mostly sourced from the EU’s open databases of people working at (and with) the institutions.

When you discover EurActory, on 29 January, it’s possible that you don’t have an expert profile yet. The team behind EurActory could not find your details in the databases that we have integrated.

Not to worry though: you can help us by telling us about yourself and what you do.

Registered users can create a profile on the platform, connect their social media accounts and ‘Create an expert profile’. This will then be checked by one of EU Community’s moderators, after which your profile will appear in the list of experts.

 

EU Community on TwitterLinkedInFacebook

 

Google condamné ! Et sur le droit à l’oubli…

Posted by on 20/01/15

Google doit respecter le droit à l’oubli depuis mai 2014 et l’arrêt de la Cour de justice européenne. Le moteur de recherche a été sommé par le tribunal de grande instance de Paris fin décembre de respecter le droit à l’oubli d’une internaute. Cette dernière souhaitait déréférencer un article faisant référence à une condamnation ancienne.

Ce n’est pas la première fois, déjà le 16 septembre 2014, en France, Google a été condamné pour avoir ignoré le droit à l’oubli. Cette fois, le tribunal de grande instance de Paris a enjoint le moteur de recherche à retirer un lien de ses résultats de recherche. Le jugement a été rendu en décembre 2014. La plaignante accusait Google d’afficher un article relatant sa condamnation pour escroquerie, qui datait de 2006. D’après elle, la présence de ce lien dans les résultats de recherche liés à son nom nuisait à sa recherche d’emploi. Lors d’une première tentative de retrait, elle a utilisé le nouveau formulaire de droit à l’oubli de Google. Peine perdue: en septembre 2014, sa demande a été rejetée, le moteur de recherche jugeant l’article d’intérêt public.

L’internaute a alors porté cette affaire devant la justice et a eu gain de cause le mois dernier. Le tribunal de grande instance de Paris a estimé que la plaignante était en droit de réclamer le déréférencement de cet article de presse. Il a notamment retenu pour argument l’ancienneté de l’affaire: il s’est écoulé près de 8 ans entre la publication de l’article et le dépôt de la plainte. La juge a également précisé que cette condamnation pour escroquerie ne figurait pas sur le bulletin n°3 du casier judiciaire de la plaignante, un document auquel ont accès les potentiels employeurs, et n’avait donc pas sa place dans les résultats de recherche de Google.

Le principe de droit à l’oubli a été consacré par la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne en mai 2014. Selon cette décision, les internautes peuvent demander la suppression de liens vers des pages Internet comportant des données personnelles «inadéquates, non pertinentes ou excessives» dans les résultats de recherche associée à leur nom. Cet arrêt est cité dans la décision prise à l’encontre de l’internaute française en question. Néanmoins, Google a aussi le droit de refuser une demande de droit à l’oubli, s’il juge la demande infondée. En France, il a refusé la suppression de 52% des liens soumis via son formulaire. Un internaute débouté peut dès lors de tourner vers la justice ou la CNIL afin qu’elles jugent à leur tour du bien-fondé de sa requête.

Ce n’est pas à proprement parler la première fois que la justice française corrige le verdict de Google. «Une décision de septembre 2014 a été présentée, à tort, comme étant la première condamnation pour droit à l’oubli en France», précise Romain Darrière, avocat de la plaignante, au Figaro. D’après lui, il s’agit d’une «mauvaise interprétation». L’affaire portait sur une demande de déréférencement de propos diffamatoires, donc contraires à la loi. Google a déjà été condamné à plusieurs reprises au retrait de contenus illégaux. En 2013, la justice lui avait par exemple ordonné de retirer de ses résultats de recherche français neuf clichés érotiques mettant en scène Max Mosley, ancien patron de la Fédération internationale de l’automobile. «Au contraire, dans son ordonnance du 19 décembre 2014, le tribunal de grande instance de Paris a bien rappelé que l’article litigieux n’était pas illicite en soi», explique Romain Darrière dans un article publié à ce sujet début janvier. «C’est l’indexation de l’article qui est devenue illicite du fait du temps écoulé depuis sa publication.»

Difficile à dire quelles conséquences pourraient avoir cette affaire sur l’application du droit à l’oubli en France. «Elle pourrait faire jurisprudence», estime Romain Darrière, en précisant la notion de temps dans la définition du droit à l’oubli. Google réfléchit encore à la manière d’appliquer cette mesure. Fin 2014, le groupe américain a constitué un comité d’experts afin d’échanger sur le sujet et de recueillir les avis des citoyens. Il doit rendre ses conclusions dans les prochains mois.

L’internaute avait constaté qu’une recherche sur Google avec son nom et son prénom renvoyait comme premier résultat vers un article du Parisien évoquant sa condamnation pour escroquerie à une peine de trois ans de prison, dont trois mois ferme, qui datait de 2006.

Craignant les conséquences de cette information sur sa recherche d’emploi, elle avait adressé une demande à Google pour que le moteur de recherche retire ces résultats de recherche.

Dans une ordonnance rendue le 19 décembre dernier, le tribunal de grande instance de Paris a finalement ordonné au géant américain de retirer sous dix jours ces liens dans ses résultats de recherche.

La justice a retenu deux arguments principaux. Le fait, d’une part, que huit années s’étaient écoulées depuis la publication des articles et que, d’autre part, d’éventuels employeurs n’ont normalement pas accès à ce type d’information, de plus comme déjà indiqué, la condamnation pour escroquerie n’étant pas inscrite dans le bulletin no 3 du casier judiciaire. Ces deux éléments justifiaient, selon le tribunal, la suppression partielle des articles des résultats de recherche. Il n’a cependant pas accordé à la plaignante les dédommagements qu’elle réclamait.

Cette suppression ne s’applique que sur les résultats qui s’affichent lorsque sont recherchés le nom de l’internaute qui en fait la demande. Ce n’est pas la première fois que la justice française mentionne l’arrêt européen dans une décision condamnant le moteur de recherche. Dans ce cas précis, en revanche, la justice a donné raison à la plaignante en s’appuyant précisément sur les critères retenus par la CJUE dans son arrêt de mai, ce qui est une première. Depuis la reconnaissance du droit à l’oubli par la CJUE, la France avec 50 000 cas est en tête des pays européens au niveau du nombre de demandes de retrait de liens, mais la firme Google a décliné pour l’instant un peu plus de la moitié d’entre elles (52 %) dans l’Hexagone.

Pour en savoir plus :

     -. Dossier Google de Nea say de Eulogos http://www.eu-logos.org/eu-logos_nea-say.php?idr=4&idnl=3393&nea=153&lang=fra&arch=0&term=0

     -. Analyse de 01 Net http://www.01net.com/editorial/641664/droit-a-loubli-google-condamne-pour-la-premier-fois-a-dereferencer-un-lien/  

     -. Analyse du Journal du net http://www.journaldunet.com/solutions/expert/59659/affaire-marie-france-m—google—sur-le-dereferencement–le-droit-a-l-oubli-et-les-donnees-personnelles.shtml

     -. Analyse de legalis.net http://www.legalis.net/spip.php?page=jurisprudence-decision&id_article=4425

     -. Analyse de l’ordonnance en référé du précédent arrêt du 24 novembre 2014 http://www.legalis.net/spip.php?page=jurisprudence-decision&id_article=4424

     -. Journal le Monde : « à Pari, Google face au casse-tête du  droit à l’oubli » http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2014/09/26/a-paris-google-face-au-casse-tete-du-droit-a-l-oubli_4495307_4408996.html

 

 

 


Classé dans:DROITS FONDAMENTAUX, Protection des données personnelles

New tool for EU experts – Who has a profile on EurActory?

Posted by on 20/01/15
By EU Community We're launching the beta version of EurActory, our first tool for EU experts. You can find anyone working in the EU institutions on EurActory, as well as a growing of key lobbyists, analysts or other stakeholders.

New tool for EU experts – EurActory: What is it for?

Posted by on 19/01/15

EU Community will launch the beta version of its first, free service EurActory on 29 January at the European Parliament. But first, we explain the idea one ‘frequently asked question’ at a time.


FAQ1 – What is EurActory for?

In an earlier post, I discussed EU Community’s first application in development: EurActory. EurActory is tailored to the people working on EU policy, whether they are in Brussels, in national capitals or work in organisations spread across Europe.

The service aims to gather the public information that is out there about the relevant experts and policy makers, to share this knowledge with this community and to allow members of this community to contribute their own expertise.

EurActory can tell you which experts to go to for input on a directive or policy you are working on. You can find the right person for a keynote speech at an event you’re organising. Or you can search for the latest updates on a contact you’re meeting in five minutes.

Want to know more? Tomorrow, we’ll let you know who has a profile on EurActory…

 

EU Community on Twitter * LinkedIn * Facebook


La communauté francophone de l’OpenGov

Posted by on 12/01/15

Voir

http://democratieouverte.org/

  • Concevoir et expérimenter des dispositifs de démocratie ouverte.
  • Animer et mettre en réseau les acteurs de la démocratie ouverte.
  • Faire connaître et promouvoir le concept et les bénéfices de la démocratie ouverte.

Capture d’écran 2015-01-12 à 20.07.08

Are you suffering from Metric Myopia?

Posted by on 12/01/15
  Before you obsess over your next analytics report, read the recent article by Ev Williams (Twitter and Medium cofounder) on measuring what matters. William’s article was prompted by the infantile way otherwise supposedly intelligent people (venture capitalists, Wall St analysts, tech & business journalists…) measure the value of companies like Twitter and Instagram: we [...]

Open data on Greek local authorities: reengineering European funds

Posted by on 05/01/15

Rania Tsopana, Municipality of Nea Ionia Attikis Graduate of Division of Local Government TEI Kalamata raniaaa_t@yahoo.gr

Fotis Zygoulis, Municipality of Heraklion Attikis, PhD candidate at the University of Athens (Business Process Reengineering) fotiszygoulis@gmail.com

Key words: transparency, open data, government policies, consultation, budget, citizens, interoperability.

Open Data Policies in Greece

Open public administration data is data of any kind can be used for any purpose without restriction and produced by public bodies. The use of open public administration data is directly related to the activation of citizens. Enabling citizens’ observatories aimed at transparency and accountability of public entities. In modern information society in which we live it is easy to understand that the availability of data produced by governments, results in the achievement of good governance because of transparent decision-making.

Transparency in the public sector means unrestricted and free disposal of administrative operations and procedures in order to ensure legality and legitimity. Transparency remains a constitutional requirement in Greece.

Open availability of public administration data can lead to cooperation between the civil society, professional groups, NGOs and universities.  Such data could include everything from geo-spatial data, administrative operations, infrastructure, environment, culture, civil service, transport data, election results, crime, licenses, business directories, etc.

Interoperability through public bodies can be readily achieved by the use of open public administration data. The Greek Republic has made some efforts in recent years concerning the development of open data policies

Public open data are being produced and published in many cities of our country but there are not easily read and processed, they are not machine readable, they are not produced by open licenses [e.g.CC]. A recent study on this issue has been drawn the Greek part of the Open Knowledge Foundation which has demonstrated (by the ratio of open data) that most cities :  do not have data available in the category transport data in real time, they have no data budgets that are machine-readable as it is in the form of pdf, public geospatial data are available to the public in a special place reserved for GIS apps, public procurement contracts soar in pdf format in the Central Electronic Registry public Contracts and are recorded simultaneously on the website of Diavgeia[1] (with open license CC), public data for  building licenses are available at the website of Diavgeia in pdf format, citizens’ demands for public services are being allowed only at the municipalities of Athens where it seems that exists a serious electronic platform.

In Greece, after the memorandum with Troika, the need for adaptation of public institutions to the requirements of transparency and the fight against corruption has led municipalities to develop policies concerning open data.

The participation of citizens in decision-making and good governance in Greek municipalities.

The availability of open data in the official sites of Greek Municipalities is strongly related with the trust between Greek local government and the Greek people.  This confidence is translated to ways of using this data. The use of data is not necessarily related to material – economic exploitation but it can be related to participation in public political life through public consultation.

The concept of the public consultation is attached to the concept of open government [Open Governance]. The open government allows the participation of citizens in shaping the legislation. The open public sector, particularly the open local government embodies a transparent decision-making center of power, through which the municipalities are closer to the citizen.

The available open data therefore leads to both democratic legitimacy of local government and the participatory concept of e-democracy.

The ideal shape of the citizens to access towards public consultation inside the Greek municipalities is constructed as follows:

ü  A) Passive Information

ü  B) Active Information

ü  C) Consultation

ü  D) Dialogue and Negotiation

ü  E) Enable & Participation

ü  F) Configuring policies

A synthesis of access to public documents and public control of power can implement the above scheme. In an attempt to highlight the great contribution of open government [open public governance] to e-democracy, a common interconnection between transparency and low level of corruption could possibly prevent officials from government abuse of power.

The Greek reality is disappointing regarding the issue of transparency and open data. There is a lack of mayors who are pursuing policies based on a public consultation (which is based on open data). The program Diavgeia saves the situation somehow. But we Greeks as a country are walking a long way behind the global progress in open data policies. The infamous introversion that always characterized the Greek local authorities regarding the administrative structures and practices is an important feature.

While the implementation and the success of the European Funds processes in Greek Municipalities will pass through public consultation in the new programming period 2014-2020 it is revealing  what  Lucy Chambers, spokesman OKFN, writes after a visit to Greece in the summer of 2012: “Only Diavgeia application operates as a platform for open data in the municipalities of Greece. Lucy Chambers connects the level of transparency in Greek local authorities with the overall need for real transparency in public finances of our country.[2]

Another study (2014) conducted by OGP is based on the measurement of countries (based on indicators of the implementation of open data) remains a slap in the face for our country. The countries included Greece are being called pretenders; regarding the success of implementation of open data policies along with Romania and Estonia[3]. This means that the administration let alone local government in our country are insufficient in open data. We are good at design but we fail in the implementation.

On the image below we can see the open-spending infographic[4] that reflects the amount of money spent by each Greek ministry.

Open – spending applications are being used in Greece on the basis of Diavgeia application. A new scientist Vangelis Banos has developed such an application called “HyperDiavgeia”. The fact is that we can extract some results related to the operational cost of each Ministry but there cannot be extracted a lot of categorized data. This happens due to the lack of categorized data. Only a few municipalities like Athens, Thessaloniki, Gortynia and Heraklion Crete can offer us such data.

The Law for Open Data in Greece 2014

  1. Examples of Open Public Data in Greece

DIAVGEIA

It is an application Introduced for the first time in Greece based on the legal obligation to display the decisions of governmental bodies and administration on the Internet. Every citizen can access the set of laws and decisions adopted by the governing bodies, the local government and Independent Authorities. All decisions cannot be executed if not posted on the website et.diavgeia.gov.gr.  Each decision acquires a unique number who certifies the public document.

 

OPENGOV

It is an action under the auspices of open government initiative, which aims to bring forth creative ideas, people and ways in order to introduce innovation in civic relations and business within the Greek public sector. The online platform is Labs.OpenGov.gr forum and it is going to gain a new dimension, participatory and decentralized planning and implementation of public e-services.

 

CENTRAL ELECTRONIC RECORDS OF CONTRACTS (e-procurement)

All public entities are required to be registered in the Central Electronic Registry Public Procurement Platform. On this app documents that are related to public contracts for works,  goods and services during all the execution stages, regardless of process and source of funding (except those which by law are published in the Government Gazette), with a budget exceeding 1.000,00 €  are being published. A unique number is being given too.

 

PUBLIC SPENDING

In publicspending.gr data are depicted simply and daily related to the spending of the Greek government, which are being extracted from the decisions published on Diavgeia app. Which are the public bodies with larger payments? Which public bodies spend taxpayer‘s money and who pays? Who are the public contractors that they are being choosed to execute public works?

  1. Institutional Framework for the public open data – How we got to Law 4305/2014

 

The Law 4305/2014 “Open disposal and re-use of documents, information and data in the public sector” has been a legal obligation upon the Greek Ministries.  Next time, it is estimated to be implemented upon the Municipalities.

Provided that, within three months each public body will finalize the list of data that is available to publish, we expect to see public open data on air on the summer of 2015.

 

Actually the current Law is a modification of N.3448 / 2006 concerning the «re-use of public sector information”. That law, following the Directive 2003/98 / EC obliged public bodies to make their documents available for re-use.[5]

The battle between the OKFN Greece and ELLAK

While Open data policies are being developed in Greece, a battle is on the air; that between two concepts[6] of open data policy. There is the ELLAK which has a long tradition on open data policies inside the Greek public sector and the OKFN Gr department. ELLAK is consisted of many persons who have been working a lot on the basis of the open data implementation inside the Greek public sector. Diavgeia application is a product of the team that now governs ELLAK.  On the other side, OKFN Gr has dramatically implemented a lot of open data policies in a systematic way that conforms to the OKFN movement.

A compromise is needed in order to achieve better results. It is a fact that when a policy has revealed aspects of exploitation a lot of serious scientific branches are emerging.

Why we are going to fail in the implementation regarding the European Funds in Greek Local Government (lack of institutional cooperation, applications’ interoperability and managerial synergy)

Yes, there is a problem here. If a Greek municipality would like to be funded by the European Funds to create, build or reengineer a structure, this cannot be succeeded unless it has allowed a public consultation regarding the results, the consequences of the project to be funded.

In Greece, where democracy has been born, there is a lack of Public Consultation, regarding the Electronic Governance Tools. While Greek municipalities are not prepared to achieve public consultation due to the lack of open public data sets that can allow that kind of public consultation.

 

References:

 

 

 


[2] http://community.openspending.org/2012/07/osi/

 

[4] This infographic can be found in the OKFN Greece blog

[6] What is the difference between ELLAK and OKFN GR? Sometimes I wonder what the differences are.

 

Net Neutrality: A Hungarian Perspective

Posted by on 16/12/14

A LACK OF NET NEUTRALITY WILL HURT SMALL BUSINESSES AND SITES THE MOST

By Miklos Orban

 

Call me a history geek, but I love the Modern Mechanix blog. It is about how people foresaw the future in different ages, and funny to see how “the future” turned out at the end. But this blog also reminded me of the net neutrality debate. While we all know the positions of Amazon, Facebook or Google on this issue, the voices of small businesses, average websites Modern Mechanix or the everyday Internet user like me have not been heard in this long debate.

 

It is not the likes of Google or Facebook that will suffer where net neutrality is not respected. Companies like these operate with such a presence globally that it is certain they will not be forgotten by any internet service providers anywhere in the world. For instance, recently Facebook struck a deal with service provider Globe, operating in the Philippines, resulting in an offer that allowed access only to Facebook’s content. This demonstrates the influence that this kind of multinational business can leverage. And similarly in Hungary, Magyar Telekom just introduced a few commercial offers which limit access to the biggest websites.

 

If service providers are empowered to decide on the accessibility of content, small companies, local websites or niche blogs will easily be left out these commercial discussions, as they are virtually unknown to most of the ISPs. No survey is required to establish the likelihood of this happening, recent examples have already proved this in many countries, including in Central and Eastern Europe. Moreover, it is also likely that if ISPs are able to, they will demand payment for how content is displayed. Obviously, SMEs like PROKOP in the Czech Republic or small sites like Modern Mechanix will be unable to contend with the likes of Amazon and so access to their content is likely to be slowed or even blocked altogether.

 

Without net neutrality, service providers could also decide to impose significantly higher fees on consumers who wish to access all web content and restrict the lowest paying customers to only what the ISPs choose to offer. This means that fewer and fewer consumers will have access to small websites and e-shops and consequently, these small players will disappear. If net neutrality is not maintained, the landscape of the internet is likely to change drastically to an environment in which only large corporations can survive and small businesses and local players will die. This would hurt Central and Eastern Europe badly. And believe me, the world would be a less interesting place without the Modern Mechanix blog.

Miklos Orban is the chairman of Explico, a regulatory consultancy boutique providing services beyond traditional legal advice.

 

Is ‘digital native’ government possible?

Posted by on 15/12/14
An interview with Jim Bankoff, who just raised another raised $46.5 million in funding for Vox Media (“the fastest growing Web brand of 2014″), caught my eye: “Vox.com’s main draw [is] making sense of complicated issues in ways that are easily digestible for online readers… Our content platform is less about the 1s and 0s [...]

Žiga Turk: ‘If you provide open data they will come’

Posted by on 15/12/14

Žiga Turk, professor and blogger on innovation, sustainability and technology, published a blogpost on Sunday concerning efforts in South-East Europe to open up public data sources. If you offer the data, aggregated by public administrations anyhow, developers and innovators will come in and build applications on top of it, Turk writes.

Turk is a member of BlogActiv’s community of EU bloggers who is definitely worth following. We re-published his latest blogpost here (without editing).

~

Opening public data contributes to the transparency and public oversight that the people have over their governments and public sector that they fund.

“In the EU we are often accused of having big government and public sector; spending too much; collecting too much information etc. But there may be a silver lining to it.

In the globalized competition among the states, of course it is important to improve the level of services, cut costs and reduce the red tape. But it is also important to make the best out of the situation. Which is that the public sector is sitting on a treasure of data which costs taxpayer money to collect and maintain and in many cases citizen effort to provide.

Therefore it would be wise to make sure the data is either put to use or stopped being collected.

It is highly unlikely that the governments would come with the only and the brightest ideas on what to do with that data. On the contrary, the growth around the internet has shown the tremendous potential of innovation in the private sector and the academia.

Zagreb Summit

In the beginning of December I took part at a Summit “Data Driven Innovation in Southeast Europe“. It was organized by several organizations from the region and Google in Zagreb, Croatia. Members of governments, academia, civil societies and businesses from the region met to exchange best practices and discuss the innovation strategy. Innovation that should be based around data openly provided by the public sector.

While Slovenia is also a Central European country, it shares a long common history and therefore institution types and public-sector culture with former Yugoslav republics. There are plenty of opportunities to collaborate and borrow solutions from each other.

A whitepaper summarized  the initiative and best practices. The message from Slovenia was very clear – “if you build it, they will come“. If you build open access to open public data, developers and innovators will come and create services and apps on top of that.

They will create services which are useful to the citizens. But not only directly useful ones, such as live traffic information. They would create services that would make the publicly available data easier to access and understand.

By doing that they would contribute to the transparency and public oversight of that the people have over their governments and public sector that they fund. And thereby indirectly contribute to its quality.

More information in the PressRelease and the Whitepaper.”

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