Pan European PSI Campaigning Body launched
25th January 2008
The PSI Alliance, an independent body which represents the community of Public Sector Information (PSI) re-users across the EU, was this week formally launched in Prague. Over 15 organisations representing over 200 companies, including Bisnode, Microsoft subsidiary - Multimap, EADS subsidiary – Infoterra, GEOkomm, PRIMET and Lursof, signed the Memorandum of Intent at the launch on 23rd January putting their weight behind the new organisation’s remit. The breadth of the new body was reflected in the number of countries represented at the launch, which included Austria, the UK, Sweden, Latvia, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well as other Pan-European bodies.
The PSI Alliance believes that achieving substantial and rapid improvement in PSI access for re-use will improve the EU’s competitive position in the world economy, stimulate information industries, and create wealth and jobs. However these things will not happen unless politicians understand its pivotal importance and are willing to provide leadership for change. The organisation will be establishing links with the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and relevant publications and the press to represent the views of the PSI re-users community across the EU.
Speaking at the launch representatives outlined their backing for the new organisation:
Nikolaus Futter Managing Director of Compass-Verlag GmbH said: “The PSI Alliance wants to identify and encourage good practice amongst PSI providers throughout the EU and challenge bad practice where it occurs. We shall provide a strategic forum to give the private sector an effective voice in the policy debate”.
Michael Nicholson, Chair of the Locus Association of the UK said: “Governments are increasingly beginning to understand that this subject is important but seem to be uncertain as to how to deal with it. We look forward to working with the European Commission and Parliament in the coming months to ensure industry’s view is fully heard”.
Rolf Nordqvist, Project Manager of Bisnode said: “Private sector companies operating in the PSI marketplace have very different experiences of information access and re-use. One of the benefits of the PSI alliance is that it will enable industry to pool our knowledge and share our experiences of how things can be improved”.
- ENDS -
Notes for Editors:
The PSI Alliance is calling for the rapid development of Public Sector Information re-use activities across Europe, stimulating the development of a fair, innovative, dynamic and competitive marketplace , and releasing the very considerable economic and social benefits which are currently very under-exploited.
It is estimated that up to 25% of all information originates from Public Sector Information. PSI includes data about public law, statistics, geography, meteorology, hydrography, environmental issues, corporate and financial data, electoral data, data about governance and data about the economy. The terms upon which PSI is provided for re-use by the private sector and citizens are governed by convention and laws; primarily Competition Law and the Directive 2003/98EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of the 17th November 2003 on the re-use of public sector information. The Directive will be reviewed during the course of 2008.
- For more information on the Alliance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org The PSI Alliance will be hosting a conference in June, more details of which will be released shortly.