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European Commission Releases Open Data Portal
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Monday, December 31, 2012
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Created: Jan 07, 2013

The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, launched a beta version of the Open Data Hub of the European Union last week, a month earlier than the scheduled release date in January.

The data portal currently contains 5811 datasets from the European Commission, freely available to the public to browse, download and use. The portal also provides access to data from other institutions and agencies of the European Union at their request.

A large majority of the datasets (5634 sets) are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Other publishers include the European Environment Agency, Directorate-General for Health and Consumers, and the Publications Office of the EU.

The website states that the portal is “about transparency, open government and innovation”. The data portal also aims “promote and build literacy around Europe’s data”.

The portal is the first part of the Commission’s three-fold ‘Open Data Strategy for Europe’ announced in December last year - leading by example. The Commission had committed to opening its vaults of information to the public for free through a new data portal.

The next two parts of the strategy are establishing a level playing field for open data across the EU, and backing these new measures by funding research into improved data-handling technologies.
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