The Commission launches a public consultation on environmental information

The consultation intends seeking opinions from the European citizens on standards that will harmonize the EU-wide approach to data which covers 25 themes including land cover, buildings, soil, land-use, energy, health and safety. The standards will facilitate cross-border integration and analysis of environmental data, modelling, and forecasting activities in many policy areas.

The INSPIRE Directive came into force on 15 May 2007 and will be implemented in various stages, with full implementation required by 2019. It aims to create a spatial data infrastructure which enables the sharing of spatial information among public sector organisations and facilitates public access to spatial information across Europe.

INSPIRE – Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe – is a tool that brings benefits for European citizens, ranging from improved emergency services to a healthier everyday environment. In addition, with the adoption of common standards, it will help to cut costs and improve the basis for decision making at all levels. The public consultation opened being sought on the suitability of the proposed standards. Later, it will be tested to assess their usability across disciplines and nations.

On the other hand, studies have already shown the benefits of INSPIRE, both economic and social, while allowing faster and less expensive environmental impact assessment. Moreover, INSPIRE brings improved business opportunities and creates synergies between public administrations.