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Balancing INSPIRE and Political Interests in Federal Structures

Markus Meinert, Klaus-Peter Schulz and Falk W├╝rriehausen

(Submission #264)


Establishing a spatial data infrastructure in Germany has been started around 2000, but received decisive impulses from INSPIRE: The legally based foundation of a complete set of technical standards for the infrastructure had to be set up in conjunction with the environmental purposes and fields of application. Environmental directives (e.g. water, natural habitats or air quality) drive the Community part of providing spatial data sets on the European level. Thereby the Commission has the power to de-fine geodata sets and make them existent for INSPIRE. It takes time to streamline these sectoral requirements with those of INSPIRE. Progress has been achieved during the last months, e.g. merging INSPIRE and the European Water Information system (WISE). In contrast, the national part of establishing geodata provision primarily fulfils pure INSPIRE-obligations, but under boundary conditions of national legislation: Member states create a vast variety of geodata sets for political interests, in structures as well as attributes, which nevertheless should be interoperably provided in total (e.g. soil). The challenges are multifold as interoperabil-ity has several dimensions and is closely tied to harmonization of data. Although INSPIRE-implementation was more focused on eReporting needs lately, national politi-cal interests have to be fulfilled in order to support law enforcement, create tangible benefits for the member states and balance interests. For a sound fulfillment of the INSPIRE legal require-ments more flexibility should be conceded to the member states. In Germany with its federal struc-tures covering legislation on national and state level as well as law enforcement down to com-munal bodies, federal-state and also state-communal coordination mechanisms have been set up to reach a common understanding. INSPIRE supports these alignments significantly by its regulations for interoperability and metadata. In decentralized federal structures any coordination has to start with an inventory of existing geodata sets. A couple of monitoring cycles with considerable results are done. Now a common and balanced view on selected important national spatial data sets considering political interests has to be agreed on. The core challenge is to find common solutions for structuring and labeling of spatial data sets that should be provided interoperable. Especially to support political initiatives like Open Data, Sustainable Development Goals or Participation of Civil Society. Can we reach a common under-standing among the 16 German states? Can we fix data models with national attributes or enti-ties? Would the benefits justify the investments and production costs? We initiate the discussion on first results.


Topic Area:  [3.3] Alignment with national, EU and international policies/initiatives
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

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