INSPIRE Knowledge Base

Who's who in INSPIRE

INSPIRE Coordination Team (CT)

The INSPIRE coordination team consists of staff of the European Commission from DG Environment and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and staff of the European Environmental Agency (EEA). Its role is to coordinate the implementation and further evolution of INSPIRE and to coordinate with other EU policies.

DG Environment acts as an overall legislative and policy co-ordinator for INSPIRE. 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. DG Environment is chairing the INSPIRE maintenance and implementation group.

The Joint Research Centre 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 is responsible for the technical coordination with other relevant international initiatives. The JRC is chairing the technical sub-group of the INSPIRE maintenance and implementation group (MIG-T).

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 also uses 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.

INSPIRE Committee (IC)

According to Art. 22 of the INSPIRE Directive, the INSPIRE Committee, consisting of Member State representatives, 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.

National Contact Points (NCPs)

According to Art. 19(1) of the INSPIRE Directive, each Member State must designate a Contact Point, usually a public authority, to be responsible for contacts with the Commission in relation to INSPIRE. For example, the contact points are responsible for providing regular information about the implementation of INSPIRE in their country and report on behalf of their Member State to the Commission.

INSPIRE Maintenance and Implementation Group (MIG)

In 2013, a Commission expert group called INSPIRE Maintenance and Implementation Group (MIG) was set up, consisting of representatives of the INSPIRE national contact points. The MIG coordinates the joint activities between the European Commission (DG Environment and the JRC), the EEA and the EU Member States to support the maintenance and implementation of the INSPIRE Directive.

The MIG has a permanent sub-group focusing on technical aspects (MIG-T) and can set up temporary sub-groups focusing on specific actions defined in the maintenance and implementation work programme (MIWP).

The MIG is complemented by a pool of experts drawn from the stakeholder community. The experts in this pool will be called upon when MIG sub-groups are formed to address specific implementation or maintenance issues, but will also provide the opportunity to reach out to experts involved or interested in particular aspects of INSPIRE implementation or maintenance.

INSPIRE stakeholders

The development of the INSPIRE Implementing Rules and Technical Guidance documents and the maintenance and implementation framework  have been based on a participatory process, involving experts from stakeholder organisations in the Member States.

Stakeholder organisations are invited to propose experts for the work of the MIG and provide input for and feedback on the work of the MIG and its sub-groups. Experts from stakeholder organisations can also discuss implementation issues on the Thematic Clusters discussion platform.

NOTE  During the development of the legal framework, stakeholder organisations were categorised into legally mandated organisations (LMOs) and Spatial Data Interest Communities. Since this distinction is often difficult to make, for the implementation phase, we only consider stakeholder organiations.