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Towards a Cross-border Open Data Agenda

Top of Digital Europe has launched a Discussion Paper “Towards a Cross-border Open Data Agenda – A Case for a macro-regional agenda on open government data in the Baltic Sea Region”. The aim is to initiate a debate on the vast potential for open government data across borders in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). It is a call to governments to work jointly on an ambitious transnational open data agenda to fully grasp the potential from open data, and cross-border open data in particular.

open_data_coverNew open government data initiatives and government strategies promoting government data for reuse, innovation and transparency have been launched in all the countries in the Baltic Sea Region, but other countries in Europe and globally are also moving fast and some have taken the lead when it comes to setting an ambitious open government data agenda.

As leaders in ICT and the digital economy, the BSR countries are well placed to set new standards for open data-driven innovation. This is why Top of Digital Europe suggests governments in the BSR to commit themselves to a macro-regional approach to open government data to enable the region to fully exploit the economic potential in terms of job creation, cost savings and new market opportunities.

As part of this agenda, government should set a clear target to become the most advanced region in the world with regards to the use of open government data across borders. This would enable the Baltic Sea Region to fully exploit the economic potential as open government data is not a purely national matter. Innovation, reuse and transparency does not stop at the border, but so far very little has happened across borders where barriers still seem to prevent the use of open government data from creating additional value for companies and citizens.

The paper puts forward a number of proposals for transnational pilots and initiatives to build awareness, enhance coordination and collaboration, exchange best practices, and take pilot steps towards harmonisation of data and cross-border data flows. The aim is not to duplicate what is already going on at the EU level, but rather inspire and support the EU process on Open Data.

In Top of Digital Europe, we are ready to engage with partners who are interested in moving this agenda forward together with us. We hope the paper can inspire discussions on these topics and we welcome comments and ideas on how to take the topics further.