Blog – President’s News 3/2021

Greetings From EUROGI,

In this blog I would like to focus on the recent submissions which EUROGI made to the European Commission in response to its call for comments on its draft Digital Decade 2030 targets document.

I am very pleased to say that EUROGI made two submissions regarding this call.

Hans Breemersch, EUROGI President
Hans Breemersch, EUROGI President

The one submission focused on the current problems which arise in obtaining harmonised authoritative core data across a Union. Basically, there are two problems that have been mentioned by our members: the first being, the cost of obtaining cross-border data in some cases, and the second being the fact that authoritative data is not properly harmonised. We are of the view that these problems arise from the lack of a single coordinating body at the European Union level which has responsibility in the geospatial domain for policy, legislation and monitoring, and where necessary, initiating enforcement measures at both the European Union and Member State levels.  In our submission we emphasised the need for there to be an EU-wide geospatial policy framework and for there to be clearly defined roles and responsibilities such that an integrated approach to dealing with geospatial matters can be undertaken in the EU. We point out that we are fully aware of the difficulties which would no doubt be encountered in setting up a coordinating body, but indicate that there is a real need in this regard.  We mention that a good example of success regarding meaningful coordination is provided by the swisstopo agency in Switzerland.   

The second submission which we made quoted the often-repeated statement ‘everything occurs somewhere, and at some point in time’. The point was made that virtually all information can be geospatially tagged and that this (and time stamping) provides the basis for linking data across nearly all domains. An example from real life was provided of the very significant efficiency and efficacy gains which are possible as a result this sort of geospatial tagging.

For further information about these submissions please do not hesitate to contact our

Finally, I regard that making submissions such as the ones mentioned above as being one of EUROGI’s most important functions.  However, I also believe that whilst making submissions is important, it is also important that we engage meaningfully with relevant officials in the Commission around these and the many other issues which are significant and important to our wider geospatial community. I am quite often reminded of the English saying ‘a rising tide lifts all boats‘, which I think has applicability for us here in EUROGI. The rising tide in our case is increasing the widespread and effective use of geospatial information and technologies, while the boats are us geospatial professionals, and also the wider community.

Keep safe … the coronavirus has most definitely not yet gone away.

Hans Breemersch
EUROGI President