Who's who in INSPIRE

INSPIRE Background

In 2002 Commissioners Wallström, Solbes and Busquin agreed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between ENV, ESTAT and JRC for the first steps in the development of the INSPIRE initiative. This MoU was established to operate up until the adoption of a proposal for an INSPIRE directive by the Commission after which the MoU should be revised and updated. The Commission proposal was adopted in July 2004.

This updated Memorandum of Understanding, signed in 2006, provided the basis for continued co-operation between the services of DG Environment, EUROSTAT and the JRC on the INSPIRE initiative. It outlined roles and responsibilities, working arrangements and cooperation mechanisms until the end of 2013.

It was agreed that a key success factor for the implementation of the directive is the identification of durable and precise roles and responsibilities for each of the leading services, as well as of efficient and effective coordination mechanisms to ensure coherence throughout the INSPIRE implementation process. The three collaborating DGs also agreed to undertake a full commitment towards a continued openness and transparency with respect to the different communities which will be involved in the implementation of INSPIRE.

INSPIRE Coordination Team (CT)

The INSPIRE team consists of staff of the European Commission from the two DGs, DG Environment and DG Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the staff of the European Environmental Agency (EEA)

Role: Its role is to coordinate the IR development.

  • DG Environment

    DG Environment acts as an overall legislative and policy co-ordinator for INSPIRE. The establishment of the legislative act and its follow-up is led by DG Environment, supported and advised by Eurostat. Given the primary focus of INSPIRE on environmental policy, and based on liaison with the EEA, DG Environment specifies environmental thematic policy requirements for INSPIRE as a framework for the implementation programme.
  • JRC

    The JRC acts as the overall technical co-ordinator of INSPIRE. The JRC ensures the viability and evolution of the technical infrastructure for INSPIRE and guarantees the liaison with the European and international research community. JRC also initiates and monitors the work with international standardisation bodies for the purposes of INSPIRE and will be responsible for the technical coordination with other relevant international initiatives.
  • EEA

    In 2013, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) increased its involvement in the EU level coordination, by taking on tasks related to monitoring and reporting, and data and service sharing under INSPIRE as part of the SEIS and INSPIRE activities. The EEA will also use its networking experiences through the well-established European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) to strengthen the integration of INSPIRE with other EU level initiatives, including reporting and information dissemination under the environmental acquis.

From 2007 until 2013 Eurostat was a member of the INSPIRE CT and acted as the overall implementation co-ordinator for INSPIRE. Eurostat and JRC jointly prepared the programme of work taking into consideration the technical approach proposed, and solutions provided for, by the JRC, building on the policy requirement inputs provided for by DG Environment, and taking into consideration the overall Commission wide policy requirements provided for by the Commission inter-services group on Geographic Information (COGI). Following adoption of the Directive, Eurostat assured the secretariat for the INSPIRE Regulatory Committee as part of its operational responsibilities.

INSPIRE Committee (IC)

The regulatory nature of the Implementing Rules requires the Commission to present them to a Regulatory Committee of Member Statesrepresentatives, referred to as the INSPIRE Committee.

Role: The INSPIRE Committee has the general task to assist the Commission and to deliver its opinion on the draft Implementing Rules proposed by the Commission. This opinion shall be delivered in the form of a vote.

Member State Contact Points (MSCP)

Each member state must designate a Contact Point, usually a public authority, to be responsible for contacts with the Commission in relation to INSPIRE.

Role: The role of the contact points is to provide results about the transposition of INSPIRE in National legislation.

The contact points will also be responsible for providing regular information about the implementation of INSPIRE in their country and report on behalf of the Member State to the Commission.

Initial Operating Capability Task Force (IOC TF)

The Initial Operating Capability Task Force (IOC TF) was set up in June 2009 to help and support Member States in the implementation of INSPIRE services and ensure interoperability with the INSPIRE geoportal the European Commission. The IOC TF consists of the representatives, from all Member States, responsible for the Architecture design and the service implementation of the National SDIs.

Role: The initial focus of the IOC TF was on the implementation of the INSPIRE Discovery and View Services. The scope of the IOC TF has been extended to include the implementation of the INSPIRE download and transformation services.