OPINION on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the re-use of public sector information (recast)

//OPINION on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the re-use of public sector information (recast)

OPINION on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the re-use of public sector information (recast)

European Parliament 2014-2019

Committee on Culture and Education

2018/0111(COD)
27.11.2018
OPINION
of the Committee on Culture and Education
for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the re-use of public sector information (recast)
(COM(2018)0234 – C8 0169/2018 – 2018/0111(COD))
Rapporteur for opinion: Theodoros Zagorakis

PA_Legam

SHORT JUSTIFICATION
Re-using public sector information can provide economic, societal and democratic benefits by permitting users other than the originating public authorities to create new products and services using official information. This can stimulate economic activity and increase the efficiency and transparency of public functions.

Directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information, a core element of Union to open up government data for economic purposes whilst pursuing societal goals, encouraged public sector bodies to make their information available by setting out rules to apply when a discretionary choice was made to permit re-use.

Revised in July 2013, the Directive went further by making re-use mandatory for most public authorities, bringing museums, libraries (including university libraries) and archives within its scope in order to increase transparency, data-based innovation and fair competition.

On 25 April 2018, the Commission published a legislative proposal to recast the Directive, to further encourage and facilitate re-use. The recast notably aims to strengthen the position of SMEs by reducing market barriers to reusing public sector information for commercial purposes, whilst bringing public undertakings and research data within the scope of the Directive.

The Rapporteur welcomes the Commission’s proposal. The Rapporteur supports in particular the Commission’s approach to leave the treatment of cultural sector bodies (libraries, archives and museums) currently in force unchanged, as the Directive in this field continues to work satisfactorily.

Moreover the Rapporteur takes note of the Commission’s intention to designate, by way of a delegated act, certain high value public sector databases (List of high value datasets, Article 13) as ones that must be made available free of charge at a future date. The Rapporteur does not object to the Commission’s proposal in that regard. The Rapporteur would like to stress however that it is necessary that such a list should be as clear and as detailed as possible in order to ensure legal certainty for all parties concerned.

In this context, the Rapporteur gives overall support to the Commission’s proposal and suggests a minimum set of amendments to provide further legal clarity, as well as to specify some provisions further.
AMENDMENTS
The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendments:
Amendment 1
Proposal for a directive
Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(6) The public sector in the Member States collects, produces, reproduces and disseminates a wide range of information in many areas of activity, such as social, economic, geographical, weather, tourist, business, patent and educational information. Documents produced by public sector bodies of executive, legislative or judicial nature constitute a vast, diverse and valuable pool of resources that can benefit the knowledge economy. (6) The public sector in the Member States collects, produces, reproduces and disseminates a wide range of information in many areas of activity, such as social, economic, cultural, geographical, weather, tourist, business, patent and educational information. Documents produced by public sector bodies of executive, legislative or judicial nature constitute a vast, diverse and valuable pool of resources that can benefit the knowledge economy.

Amendment 2
Proposal for a directive
Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(19) The Directive lays down an obligation for Member States to make all documents re-usable unless access is restricted or excluded under national rules on access to documents and subject to the other exceptions laid down in this Directive. The Directive builds on the existing access regimes in the Member States and does not change the national rules for access to documents. It does not apply in cases in which citizens or companies can, under the relevant access regime, only obtain a document if they can prove a particular interest. At Union level, Articles 41 (right to good administration) and 42 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union recognise the right of any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State to have access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. Public sector bodies should be encouraged to make available for re-use any documents held by them. Public sector bodies should promote and encourage re-use of documents, including official texts of a legislative and administrative nature in those cases where the public sector body has the right to authorise their re-use. (19) The Directive lays down an obligation for Member States to make all documents re-usable without prejudice to exceptions laid down in this Directive. The Directive builds on the access regimes currently in force in the Member States. In that regard, it does not change the national rules for access to documents, nor does it establish specific access rights or obligations to publish information, which should remain a decision at the discretion of Member States. It does not apply in cases in which citizens or companies can, under the relevant access regime, only obtain a document if they can prove a particular interest. At Union level, Articles 41 (right to good administration) and 42 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union recognise the right of any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State to have access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. Public sector bodies should be encouraged to make available for re-use any documents held by them. Public sector bodies should promote and encourage re-use of documents, including official texts of a legislative and administrative nature in those cases where the public sector body has the right to authorise their re-use.
Justification
The Directive should only govern the rules with regards to the re-use of public documents, Member States having exclusive competences on access to documents. This amendment is needed for the internal logic of the text as it inextricably relates to other admissible amendments.

Amendment 3
Proposal for a directive
Recital 31

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(31) A document should be considered to be in a machine-readable format if it is in a file format that is structured in such a way that software applications can easily identify, recognise and extract specific data from it. Data encoded in files that are structured in a machine-readable format should be considered to be machine-readable data. Machine-readable formats can be open or proprietary; they can be formal standards or not. Documents encoded in a file format that limits automatic processing, because the data cannot, or cannot easily, be extracted from them, should not be considered to be in a machine-readable format. Member States should where possible and appropriate encourage the use of open, machine-readable formats. (31) A document should be considered to be in a machine-readable format if it is in a file format that is structured in such a way that software applications can easily identify, recognise and, in a technologically neutral manner, extract specific data from it. Data encoded in files that are structured in a machine-readable format should be considered to be machine-readable data. Machine-readable formats can be open or proprietary; they can be formal standards or not. Documents encoded in a file format that limits automatic processing, because the data cannot, or cannot easily, be extracted from them, should not be considered to be in a machine-readable format. Member States should where possible and appropriate encourage the use of open, machine-readable formats.

Amendment 4
Proposal for a directive
Recital 32

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(32) Charges for the re-use of documents constitute an important market entry barrier for start-ups and SMEs. Documents should therefore be made available for re-use without charges and, where charges are necessary, they should in principle be limited to the marginal costs. In exceptional cases , the necessity of not hindering the normal running of public sector bodies that are required to generate revenue to cover a substantial part of their costs relating to the performance of their public tasks should be taken into consideration. The role of public undertakings in a competitive economic environment should also be acknowledged. In such cases, public sector bodies and public undertakings should therefore be able to charge above marginal costs. Those charges should be set according to objective, transparent and verifiable criteria and the total income from supplying and allowing re-use of documents should not exceed the cost of collection, production, reproduction and dissemination, together with a reasonable return on investment. Where applicable, the costs of anonymisation of personal data or of commercially sensitive information should also be included in the eligible cost. The requirement to generate revenue to cover a substantial part of the public sector bodies’ costs relating to the performance of their public tasks or the scope of the services of general interest entrusted with public undertakings does not have to be a legal requirement and may stem, for example, from administrative practices in Member States. Such a requirement should be regularly reviewed by the Member States. (32) Charges for the re-use of documents constitute an important market entry barrier for start-ups and SMEs, in particular in the cultural and creative sectors. Documents should therefore be made available for re-use without charges and, where charges are necessary, they should in principle be limited to the marginal costs. Marginal costs consist of the extra costs occurring from the digitisation, storage and management of documents, as well as the costs of digital mass storage, the additional effort to render data machine readable and the extra burden deriving from infrastructure measures. In exceptional cases, the necessity of not hindering the normal running of public sector bodies that are required to generate revenue to cover a substantial part of their costs relating to the performance of their public tasks should be taken into consideration. The role of public undertakings in a competitive economic environment should also be acknowledged. In such cases, public sector bodies and public undertakings should therefore be able to charge above marginal costs. Those charges should be set according to objective, transparent and verifiable criteria and the total income from supplying and allowing re-use of documents should not exceed the cost of collection, production, reproduction and dissemination, together with a reasonable return on investment. Where applicable, the costs of anonymisation of personal data or of commercially sensitive information should also be included in the eligible cost. The requirement to generate revenue to cover a substantial part of the public sector bodies’ costs relating to the performance of their public tasks or the scope of the services of general interest entrusted with public undertakings does not have to be a legal requirement and may stem, for example, from administrative practices in Member States. Such a requirement should be regularly reviewed by the Member States.
Justification
This amendment is needed for the internal logic of the text as it inextricably relates to other admissible amendments.

Amendment 5
Proposal for a directive
Recital 52

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(52) Tools that help potential re-users to find documents available for re-use and the conditions for re-use can facilitate considerably the cross-border use of public sector documents. Member States should therefore ensure that practical arrangements are in place that help re-users in their search for documents available for re-use. Assets lists, accessible preferably online, of main documents (documents that are extensively re-used or that have the potential to be extensively re-used), and portal sites that are linked to decentralised assets lists are examples of such practical arrangements. (52) Tools that help potential re-users to find documents available for re-use and the conditions for re-use can facilitate considerably the cross-border use of public sector documents. Member States should therefore ensure that practical arrangements are in place that help re-users in their search for documents available for re-use. Assets lists, accessible preferably online, of main documents (documents that are extensively re-used or that have the potential to be extensively re-used), and portal sites that are linked to decentralised assets lists are examples of such practical arrangements. Measures to facilitate the authentication of public documents also offer important guarantees to users.
Justification
With the risks of hacking or tampering in the digital age, it is important for public sector to be authenticable to be trusted. Tools are easily available, and implementing them early on in the process requires relatively little effort to great benefit.

Amendment 6
Proposal for a directive
Recital 57

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(57) One of the principal aims of the establishment of the internal market is the creation of conditions conducive to the development of Union-wide services. Libraries, museums and archives hold a significant amount of valuable public sector information resources, in particular since digitisation projects have multiplied the amount of digital public domain material. These cultural heritage collections and related metadata are a potential base for digital content products and services and have a huge potential for innovative re-use in sectors such as learning and tourism. Other types of cultural establishments (such as orchestras, operas, ballets and theatres), including the archives that are part of those establishments, should remain outside the scope because of their ‘performing arts’ specificity and the fact that almost all of their material is subject to third-party intellectual property rights and would therefore remain outside the scope of that Directive. (57) One of the principal aims of the establishment of the internal market is the creation of conditions conducive to the development of Union-wide services. Libraries, museums and archives hold a significant amount of valuable public sector information resources. The re-use of documents held by such institutions possesses substantial social and economic potential for cultural and creative industries, as well as for society, in particular since digitisation projects have multiplied the amount of digital public domain material, which is accessible on platforms such as Europeana. These cultural heritage collections and related metadata are a potential base for digital content products and services and have a huge potential for innovative re-use not only for the cultural and creative sectors, but also in other sectors such as learning and tourism. Other types of cultural establishments (such as orchestras, operas, ballets and theatres), including the archives that are part of those establishments, should remain outside the scope because of their ‘performing arts’ specificity and the fact that almost all of their material is subject to third-party intellectual property rights and would therefore remain outside the scope of that Directive.
Justification
This amendment is needed for the internal logic of the text as it inextricably relates to other admissible amendments.

Amendment 7
Proposal for a directive
Recital 60

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(60) In view of ensuring their maximum impact and to facilitate re-use, the high-value datasets should be made available for re-use with minimal legal restrictions and at no cost. They should also be published via Application Programming Interfaces, whenever the dataset in question contains dynamic data. (60) In view of ensuring their maximum impact and to facilitate re-use, the high-value datasets should be made available for re-use with minimal legal restrictions and at no cost. They should also be published via Application Programming Interfaces, whenever the dataset in question contains dynamic data. As with other public sector information, they should be accompanied by authentication tools which give confidence to users.

Amendment 8
Proposal for a directive
Recital 60 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(60a) Given the high risk of current technological formats for storing and giving access to public sector information becoming obsolete, public authorities – in particular in the case of high-value datasets – should implement effective long-term preservation policies to ensure the usage possibilities into the future.
Justification
In order to guarantee long-term access, meaningful preservation policies are essential, supporting future research, analysis and transparency.

Amendment 9
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(a) existing documents held by public sector bodies of the Member States; (a) publicly accessible documents held by public sector bodies of the Member States;
Justification
This amendment is needed for the internal logic of the text as it inextricably relates to other admissible amendments.

Amendment 10
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(b) existing documents held by public undertakings active in the areas defined in Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council42 and by public undertakings acting as public service operators pursuant to Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council43 , public undertakings acting as air carriers fulfilling public service obligations pursuant to Article 16 of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council44 , and public undertakings acting as Community shipowners fulfilling public service obligations pursuant to Article 4 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3577/9245 . (b) publicly accessible documents held by public undertakings active in the areas defined in Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council42 and by public undertakings acting as public service operators pursuant to Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council43 , public undertakings acting as air carriers fulfilling public service obligations pursuant to Article 16 of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council44 , and public undertakings acting as Community shipowners fulfilling public service obligations pursuant to Article 4 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3577/9245 .
__________________ __________________
42 Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and repealing Directive 2004/17/EC (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 243). 42 Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and repealing Directive 2004/17/EC (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 243).
43 Regulation (EC) No. 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007on public passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC)Nos 1191/69 and 1107/70. 43 Regulation (EC) No. 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007on public passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC)Nos 1191/69 and 1107/70.
44 Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community (Recast) (Text with EEA relevance) (OJ L 293, 31.10.2008, p. 3–20). 44 Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community (Recast) (Text with EEA relevance) (OJ L 293, 31.10.2008, p. 3–20).
45 Council Regulation (EEC) No 3577/92 of 7 December 1992 applying the principle of freedom to provide services to maritime transport within Member States (maritime cabotage) (OJ L 364, 12.12.1992, p. 7–10). 45 Council Regulation (EEC) No 3577/92 of 7 December 1992 applying the principle of freedom to provide services to maritime transport within Member States (maritime cabotage) (OJ L 364, 12.12.1992, p. 7–10).

Amendment 11
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(b) documents held by public undertakings, produced outside the scope of the provision of services in the general interest as defined by law or other binding rules in the Member State; (b) documents held by public undertakings, produced outside the scope of the provision of services in the general interest as defined by law or other binding rules in the Member State or in the absence of such rules, in accordance with standard administrative practice currently in force in the Member State concerned;

Amendment 12
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
3a. The Directive shall not affect the level of protection granted to individuals with regard to the processing of their personal data under Union and national law, and, in particular, shall be without prejudice to the obligations and rights set out in Regulation EU 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)).

Amendment 13
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
1. Without prejudice to Chapter V, public sector bodies and public undertakings shall make their documents available in any pre-existing format or language, and, where possible and appropriate, in open and machine-readable format together with their metadata. Both the format and the metadata shall, where possible, comply with formal open standards. 1. Without prejudice to Chapter V, public sector bodies and public undertakings shall make their documents available, interoperable, readily findable, re-usable by electronic means, in any pre-existing format or language, and, where possible and appropriate, in open and machine-readable format together with their metadata. Both the format and the metadata shall, where possible, comply with formal open standards.
Justification
This amendment is needed for the internal logic of the text as it inextricably relates to other admissible amendments.

Amendment 14
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point a a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(aa) documents for which the public sector body concerned is required, under national law, or in the absence thereof, under common administrative practice in the Member Stated concerned, to generate sufficient revenue to cover a substantial part of the costs – at least 60% – relating to their collection, production, reproduction and dissemination;
Justification
This amendment is needed for the internal logic of the text as it inextricably relates to other admissible amendments.

Amendment 15
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
5. The re-use of high value datasets, the list of which shall be defined in accordance with Article 13, and of research data referred to in point (c) of Article 1(1) shall be free of charge for the user. 5. The re-use of high value datasets, the list of which shall be defined in accordance with Article 13, and of research data referred to in point (c) of Article 1(1) shall be free of charge or at a reduced cost for the user.

Amendment 16
Proposal for a directive
Article 9 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
Member States shall make practical arrangements facilitating the search for documents available for re-use, such as asset lists of main documents with relevant metadata, accessible where possible and appropriate online and in machine-readable format, and portal sites that are linked to the asset lists. Where possible Member States shall facilitate the cross-linguistic search for documents. Member States shall make practical arrangements facilitating the search for documents available for re-use, such as asset lists of main documents with relevant metadata, accessible where possible and appropriate online and in machine-readable format, and portal sites that are linked to the asset lists and authentication tools. Where possible Member States shall facilitate the cross-linguistic search for documents.
Justification
This amendment is needed for the internal logic of the text as it inextricably relates to other admissible amendments.

Amendment 17
Proposal for a directive
Article 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
Article 12a
Preservation of Public Sector Information
Member States shall ensure the implementation of meaningful preservation policies for public sector information in any format which offers best possible guarantees of long-term access.
Justification
This amendment is needed for the internal logic of the text as it inextricably relates to other admissible amendments.

Amendment 18
Proposal for a directive
Article 13 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
1. With a view to achieving the objectives of this Directive, the Commission shall adopt the list of high value datasets among the documents to which this Directive applies, together with the modalities of their publication and re-use. 1. Member States shall ensure that the high value datasets, listed in Annex Ia, are available for free, machine-readable and accessible for download, and accompanied by authentication tools, subject to effective long-term preservation policies, and, where appropriate, via APIs. The conditions for re-use shall be compatible with open standard licences. The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 14 in order to supplement this Directive by extending the list of categories of high value datasets in Annex Ia and in particular by further specifying the high value datasets among the documents to which this Directive applies, together with the modalities of their publication and re-use.

Amendment 19
Proposal for a directive
Article 13 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
2. These datasets shall be available for free, machine-readable and accessible via APIs. The conditions for re-use shall be compatible with open standard licences. deleted
Justification
We support the proposed changes made in the IMCO Opinion, with an addition to reflect the points made above.

Amendment 20
Proposal for a directive
Annex I a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
Annex Ia
List of High Value Datasets
National law, including legislative, regulatory and administrative measures; Draft measures, including procedural information related to their adoption; Measures which have been amended, repealed or are no longer in force; Accompanying documents, such as explanatory statements, impact assessments, opinions of advisory bodies and voting records.
Justification
This amendment is needed for the internal logic of the text as it inextricably relates to other admissible amendments.

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION
Title Re-use of public sector information (recast)
References COM(2018)0234 – C8-0169/2018 – 2018/0111(COD)
Committee responsible
Date announced in plenary ITRE
28.5.2018
Opinion by
Date announced in plenary CULT
28.5.2018
Rapporteur
Date appointed Theodoros Zagorakis
1.6.2018
Discussed in committee 10.10.2018
Date adopted 20.11.2018
Result of final vote +:
–:
0: 24
0
3
Members present for the final vote Isabella Adinolfi, Dominique Bilde, Nikolaos Chountis, Silvia Costa, Mircea Diaconu, Damian Drăghici, Angel Dzhambazki, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Giorgos Grammatikakis, Petra Kammerevert, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Rupert Matthews, Luigi Morgano, Yana Toom, Helga Trüpel, Sabine Verheyen, Julie Ward, Theodoros Zagorakis, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver
Substitutes present for the final vote Norbert Erdős, Santiago Fisas Ayxelà, Dietmar Köster, Emma McClarkin, Michel Reimon
Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote Nicola Danti, Tomáš Zdechovský

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION
24 +
ALDE Mircea Diaconu, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Yana Toom
ECR Angel Dzhambazki, Emma McClarkin, Rupert Matthews
GUE/NGL Nikolaos Chountis
PPE Norbert Erdős, Santiago Fisas Ayxelà, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Sabine Verheyen, Theodoros Zagorakis, Tomáš Zdechovský, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver
S&D Silvia Costa, Nicola Danti, Damian Drăghici, Giorgos Grammatikakis, Petra Kammerevert, Dietmar Köster, Luigi Morgano, Julie Ward
VERTS/ALE Helga Trüpel

0 –

3 0
EFDD Isabella Adinolfi
ENF Dominique Bilde
VERTS/ALE Michel Reimon

Key to symbols:
+ : in favour
– : against
0 : abstention

2019-03-06T11:33:07+00:00November 27th, 2018|RAPPORTEUR|

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