INSPIRE Knowledge Base

Belgium - 2021: Country Fiche

Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • State of Play
    • Coordination
    • Functioning and coordination of the infrastructure
    • Usage of the infrastructure for spatial information
    • Data Sharing Arrangements
    • Costs and Benefits
  • Key Facts and Figures. 
    • Monitoring Indicators

The INSPIRE Directive sets the minimum conditions for interoperable sharing and exchange of spatial data across Europe as part of a larger European Interoperability Framework and the e-Government Action Plan that contributes to the Digital Single Market Agenda. Article 21 of INSPIRE Directive defines the basic principles for monitoring and reporting. More detailed implementing rules regarding INSPIRE monitoring and reporting have been adopted as Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1372 on the 19th August 2019.

This country fiche highlights the progress in the various areas of INSPIRE implementation. It includes information on monitoring 2020 acquired in December 2020 and Member States update.

State Of Play

A high-level view on the governance, use and impact of the INSPIRE Directive in Belgium. More detailed information is available on the INSPIRE knowledge base.


National Contact Point
Name of Public Authority: 
Agentschap voor Geografische Informatie Vlaanderen
Contact Email: 
MIG Contacts: 
Contact Person: 
Dominique Buffet
Contact Person: 
Xavier Demarets
Contact Person: 
Ouns Kissiyar
MIG T Contacts: 
Contact Person: 
Ouns Kissiyar
Contact Person: 
Nathalie Delattre
Coordination Structure & Progress: 
  • National Contact point


Name of public authority

INSPIRE Coordination Point

Mailing address

p/a Digitaal Vlaanderen, Maria Hendrikaplein 70, 9000 Gent, Belgium

Telephone number

+32 (0)49 192 70 19

Fax number

+32 2 553 72 05


Website address  

Contact person

Ouns Kissiyar

Telephone number

+32 (0)49 192 70 19


Contact person substitute

Johannes Van Geertsom

Telephone number

+32 2 629 82 55


  • Coordination Structure
    • Belgium's institutions are complex; most political power is organised around the need to represent the main cultural communities. Thus Belgium is characterised by a complex system of governance. Indeed Belgium's executive and legislative powers have to a substantive extent been devolved to the regions. The regions (through their parliaments and governments) have sole jurisdiction over transportation, public works, water policy, cultural matters, education, public health, environment, housing, zoning, and economic and industrial policy. The federal level is legaly responsible for maintaining a national coverage in various domains like : the topography, the administrative units and the statistics, the earth observation, the climate, the public health, the biotope, and the belgian maritime platform.
    • This effectively means that four parties are responsible for the implementation of INSPIRE : Brussels Capital Region, the Federal Government, the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Each of these parties is responsible for the implementation of INSPIRE for those areas for which it holds jurisdiction
    • The INSPIRE Coordination Committee has been set up by all 4 parties responsible for the INSPIRE implementation. This committee was set up in April 2010 through a national cooperation agreement.
    • INSPIRE Coordinating Committee is responsible for the coordination between the responsible implementing parties. The Coordinating Committee among other duties, designates the reference version of spatial data sets, conducts negotiations to establish the reference data for each of the themes listed, ensures that satisfactory common arrangements for access, sharing and use are adopted regarding the sharing of spatial data sets and services.

Functioning and coordination of the infrastructure

  • Due to Belgium's structure, coordination structures have been established at all legislative levels (Federal, and Regional).
  • There are 4 Geoportals in Belgium: one for each legally responsible entity for the implementation of INSPIRE. 
  • Each Geoportal aims to act as a centralized point of access to the INSPIRE data under responsibility of the entity. The data offering on these geoportals however, is not limited to INSPIRE data.
  • For the Brussels Capital Region, the geoportal acts since 02/2014 as a centralised point of access to the Brussels geographic information about INSPIRE. Cooperation between the parties involved in is organized within the "GeoBru" Committee, which includes, for example, Brussels Environment (BE); Brussels Mobility (BRPS-BM); and Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (Brussels Perspective-BISA). 
  • For the Federal Government services the geoportal is the gateway to the geographic platform of the federal government. It is available in four languages : Dutch, English, French and German. The coordination is in the hands of the National Geographic Institute (NGI/IGN).
  • has been the gateway to Flemish INSPIRE and other geographical data since early 2013. Digitaal Vlaanderen (formerly Information Flanders or AGIV) is responsible for the development and operational coordination of the different data providers. Cooperation between the data custodians is organized within a steering committee on information and ICT policy. 
  • The “Géoportail de la Wallonie” ( is the centralized point of access to all the Walloon geographic information relating to INSPIRE resources (metadata and network services). Service public de Wallonie (SPW) is responsible for the implementation and the coordination of the InfraSIG Walloon-SDI. Every 5-year, the Walloon Government draws up a strategic geomatic plan (PSGW) which provides direction to the development of the Walloon-SDI. The Walloon Government approved in February 2017 the “Plan opérationnel géomatique pour la Wallonie” (POGW) for 2017-2019 which includes specific actions dedicated to the INSPIRE Maintenance and Implementation. A new strategic geomatic plan is in preparation and should be adopted in continuity with the previous one. 

Usage of the infrastructure for spatial information

  • The most widely used aspect of the infrastructure are the services that are often introduced as building blocks into production processes of (private and public) partners.
  • A lot of web GIS applications using INSPIRE datasets and services (but not only) exist & they are becoming very popular and appear to be the preferred way for the majority of the users to view or download datasets. 
  • In general, there has been a sharp and clear rise in the use of services in recent years. 
  • Several cross-border projects engaged all implementing parties with neighboring countries, sharing data, experiences and knowledge. 

Data sharing arrangements

  • The measures adopted for sharing data and services between public authorities are converging through intensified coordination. 
  • In the Brussels Capital Region, data-sharing between public authorities is regulated by the ordonance on geographical information. Moreover, as a result of the PSI transposition implementation, more and more data are available through Open data licenses (CC by or CC 0).
  • The federal authorities have declared 104 datasets and series, 93 of which are free of charge. The remaining 11 datasets are accessible under licensing conditions as they are part of the master data sources of the National Mapping Agency (NGI/IGN). The National Geographic Institute shares all its data and services free of charge with the other federal authorities and based on case-by-case agreements with the regional administrations. The description of  the licensing condition (CC BY) and the mechanism for getting access to the federal datasets from the federal geoportal is underway. One of the next steps will be to become compliant with the revised PSI/OPEN Data Directive, which requires the spatial datasets identified as High Value Datasets to be open access. 
  • Within the Flemish Region open data is the default. The Flemish region aims at providing at least "Three Star" open data (Tim Berners-Lee open data model). This is meant to support its aim to be an open administration fostering transparency and participation. Data sharing with Flemish public authorities is free of charge. The conditions of access and use are generic and part of the SDI-legislation. Data sharing with  other public authorities in Belgium and Europe is in practice free of charge. The conditions of access and use are also generic and part of the SDI-legislation. The same access and use policy is true for non-geographical data. 
  • Within the Walloon Region, there are no limitations on public access to INSPIRE compliant spatial datasets and services. For the other spatial datasets, a simplification of conditions of access and use have been generalized to all SPW administration’s spatial data. A special effort has been made to ensure that Walloon’s data linked to INSPIRE themes or to the list of priority datasets are accessible through public and compliant network services (csw, view and download). Dedicated work is currently on going for the harmonisation of licences and rules to facilitate the re-use of public sector data included geospatial data in line with the new Open Data and PSI Directives.  
  • A common agreement (18/04/2014) between the Brussels region, the Federal Services, the Flemish region and the Walloon region sets up a coordination structure for patrimonial information so that it can be shared freely amongst all levels of administration.

Costs and benefits

  • As most parties do not view INSPIRE as an independent infrastructure for spatial information, but rather as a component in the ongoing development of common public sector eGovernance, cost/benefit analysis of the INSPIRE directive is difficult.
  • For the period up to 2015 the majority of the costs for implementing INSPIRE have been incurred by the data providers. It is expected that as the investments have been made to build up the infrastructure the next period (2016-2019) will see lower costs that will predominantly be dominated by the costs related to maintenance and management of the existing infrastructure
  • It is expected that the harmonization of the datasets will further incur a significant cost for the data providers. Most often the data providers lack a clear business case for this harmonization as the benefits are situated at another (rather international) level. 
  • The SDI implemented at the federal level for INSPIRE will now be the basis for extending the accessibility to non-INSPIRE spatial datasets (covering the national territory).
  • Benefit: the convergence of the efforts to maintain (or setup) the SDI’s at the different administrative levels of the Belgian state assuring the same structure, quality and availability of geodata, stimulating a number of developments in the geographic information domain and contributed to the production and open distribution of high-quality geographic information.
Key facts and figures