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Mid-term evaluation report on INSPIRE implementation published

The INSPIRE Directive, which came into force in 2007 and is expected to be fully implemented by 2020. The main goal is to establish a European Spatial Data Infrastructure in order to support policy making by providing more and better spatial data.
INSPIRE was founded on the basis of five issues that were identified as presenting obstacles to this objective:
  • missing or incomplete spatial data,
  • incomplete descriptions of spatial data,
  • difficulty to combine different spatial data sets,
  • inaccessibility of spatial data and
  • various barriers to data sharing.
 But overall, at the halfway stage of the directive, the five initial problems that led to the creation of INSPIRE still exist to varying degrees.
According to Art. 23 of the INSPIRE Directive, the Commission has to present by 15 May 2014 and every six years thereafter a report on the implementation of INSPIRE to the European Parliament and to the Council. This report has to be based, inter alia, on reports from the Member States.
The report analyses the state of implementation of the Directive at this mid‑term stage of the process of the implementation. Conclusion of the report indicates that the INSPIRE implementation is on the right way.
The main obstacles to the implementation of INSPIRE that emerge from the evaluation are the general technical complexity and the communication and coordination of the implementation of the directive. Possible measures suggested to adjust the objectives and actions in view of these issues could include a reduction in the administrative burden through simplified dana sharing, awareness raising, capacity building and training for those public sector officials involved and ongoing improvements in coordination and communication amongst and between different countries. In addition, the private sector should be encouraged to participate more.

The overall finding is that INSPIRE is being implemented across the EU (and some non‑EU countries that are beyond the scope of this report) with some delay, and non‑uniformity, but so far in line with expected costs and benefits.

Although it must be recognised that major investments (and benefits) have yet to materialise, it must be equally be acknowledged that the implementation has taken place in the most difficult financial circumstances that many European countries and their public sector organisations have faced for many decades. Notwithstanding these financial constraints, INSPIRE is starting to achieve its objectives, which according to 92 % of respondents in the 2014 public consultation are as pertinent as ever.

You can read the whole report here.