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Belgian Council of Ministers accepts federal open data strategy

Author: Adrian Offerman

The Belgian Council of Ministers has accepted a new federal open data strategy. The strategy includes several actions to be taken over the next five years, aiming to strengthen the Belgian digital ecosystem, and to evolve towards a leaner, more efficient and more modern government.

The most important part of the plan is to make open the default for all government data, except — of course — information that has privacy or security implications. Everybody will be allowed to use public data for non-profit as well as commercial applications, without attribution. All public agencies will have to come up with an open data strategy and appoint an "open data champion". In 2020, agencies will pro-actively make their data available for re-use. The federal government will consolidate all open data in a single open data portal.

PSI Directive

The plan was proposed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Agenda Alexander De Croo, Secretary of State for Administrative Simplification Theo Francken and Secretary of State for Privacy Bart Tommelein. This represents the Belgian federal transposition of the European PSI Directive that should be implemented by all Member States this summer. The draft law has been approved by the Council of Ministers and will be sent to the Council of State and the Privacy Commission for advice.

Agoria, the Belgian federation of technology companies, estimates that open data can generate a net profit of 900 million euro.