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INSPIRE Knowledge Base

Policy context


To speed up the development of the European economy and to harness the value of data for the benefit of European society, the EU Strategy for data envisages the creation of Common European Data Spaces in strategic economic sectors and domains of public interest. INSPIRE can play an essential role as a public sector contribution to the Green Deal data space.

European Strategy for data

Open Data Directive

The Open Data Directive aims to provide common rules for a European market of government-held data, based on transparency and fair competition. It entered into force on 16 July 2019, replacing the Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive. It introduces the concept of High Value Datasets (HDVs), associated with important benefits for the society and economy, to be made available free of charge, in machine-readable format, via APIs, and, where relevant, as a bulk download. 



HVD Implementing Act

On 21 December 2022, the European Commission adopted the High Value Datasets (HVD) Implementing Act as a follow-up implementing decision to the Open Data Directive.

This Implementing Regulation establishes the list of high-value datasets belonging to the thematic categories set out in Annex I to the Open Data Directive and held by public sector bodies among the existing documents to which the Directive applies.

It lays down as well the rules for the publication and re-use of the high-value datasets, in particular the conditions applicable to re-use and the minimum requirements for the dissemination of data via application programming interfaces (APIs).

The HVD Implementic Act is well aligned with INSPIRE and legal acts reinforce each other. In particular, technical provisions for several categories of HVD are based on INSPIRE, explicit open data requirements for datasets in the scope of INSPIRE are introduced, both HVD and INSPIRE data in the Green Deal Data space.



Data Governance Act 

The Data Governance Act entered into force on 23 June 2022 and, following a 15-month grace period, will be applicable from September 2023. It aims to increase trust in data sharing, strengthen mechanisms to increase data availability and overcome technical obstacles to the reuse of data. The Data Governance Act will also support the set-up and development of common European data spaces



Data Act

On 23 February 2022, the Commission proposed a Regulation on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act). While the Data Governance Act defines processes and structures to facilitate data sharing, the Data Act clarifies who can create value from data and under which conditions.



The European Data Strategy foresees the 'GreenData4All' initiative, aimed to support Europe’s green and digital transformation by updating EU rules on environmental geospatial data and on public access to environmental information. The aim is to unlock the full benefits of data sharing for data-driven innovation and evidence-based decisions. The initiative provides for the evaluation, alignment and possible revision of INSPIRE and the Directive on Access to Environmental Information.The aim is to modernise

both Directives, align them with the current state of IT technology and to promote the active dissemination and sharing of public, privately held and citizen-generated data in support of the  European Green Deal objectives.



Green Deal data space

Among the common European data spaces envisaged by the European Strategy for data, the Green Deal data space is specifically designed to support the collection, sharing, processing and analysis of large volumes of data for the purposes of the priority actions set out in the European Green Deal.

In particular, the Green Deal Data Space will enable data providers and initiatives to openly and securely share and integrate their data to tackle environmental challenges in a multidisciplinary manner.

The Open Data Directive, the HVD Implementing Act, the Data Governance Act and the Data Act provide the legal data governance foundations for the Green Deal data space. The GreenData4All initiative will contribute to the definition and operationalisation of legal, organisational and technical interoperable building blocks to share data in a machine-readable, agile and user-driven way, even beyond geospatial communities.

The Commission’s support for the creation of a Green Deal Data space will be driven by the data needs of the following EGD priority-related strategies and action plans:

  • 2030 Biodiversity strategy and the proposal for the EU Forest Strategy post-2020
  • Zero-pollution and Circular economy action plans 
  • Strategy on adaptation to climate change
  • Farm to Fork and Bioeconomy strategies

In addition, the Commission will, through the EuroGEO initiative, strengthen the EU’s role in building a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and invest in the Destination Earth project. The aim of Destination Earth is to develop a high-precision digital model of the Earth to monitor and simulate natural and human activity. By opening up access to public datasets across Europe and their reuse, Destination Earth represents a key component of the European Green Deal data space.

The GREAT project, funded by the Digital Europe Programme, aims to establish the Green Deal Data Space Foundation and its Community of Practice which builds on both the European Green Deal and the EU’s Strategy for Data.

INSPIRE can play a significant role as a public sector contribution to the implementation of the European Data Strategy.

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre ('JRC') report 'INSPIRE - A Public Sector Contribution to the European Green Deal Data Space’ defines a vision for the future evolution of INSPIRE as the public sector contribution to the emerging European data spaces envisioned by the EU Data Strategy, and, in particular, to the Green Deal data space. The favourable policy and technological context for the evolution and sustainability of INSPIRE within the Green Deal Data space is reflected in the INSPIRE MIWP 2021-2024 areas of work & actions. 


Digital Europe Programme

The Programme aims to reinforce EU critical digital capacities in key areas such as cybersecurity, advanced computing, data infrastructure, data governance and  processing. It envisages the creation of a Common Services Platform meant as one stop shop for mature solutions serving digital government, offering public administrations, businesses and citizens access to free or open-source solutions.