President of European Council acknowledges pivotal role of geographical information in policymaking
EuroGeographics’ members recognised for commitment to data availability and accessibility at 10th anniversary event
Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council has recognisedEuroGeographics’ members for their ‘invaluable’ commitment to making geospatial data more accessible and readily available across the European Union (EU).
Opening the 2010 General Assembly in Brussels, Mr Van Rompuy told heads from national mapping, land registry and cadastral agencies that geographical information is crucial for effective policymaking.
He said: “Effective policy depends on good information, and in such a geographically diverse Union it is vital that we understand not just what is happening, but where it is happening. This information needs to be readily available to policymakers at all levels so that the European Union, and the countries within it, can use geospatial data to improve the lives of citizens, the environment and the strength of our economy.”
The 10th anniversary event, which ran from 10 to 13 October 2010, was attended by 130 delegates from 44 European countries and welcomed Ktimatologio, responsible for the cadastre in Greece, as the Association’s 56th member.
Dorine Burmanje, EuroGeographics’ President said: “Our membership has almost doubled since EuroGeographics was formed, and as it has grown, so too has our expertise and our ambition. Our members have already completed a number of projects providing consistent, compatible, cross-border data. They are now focused on delivering the European Location Framework through initiatives such as the European Spatial Data Infrastructure Network (ESDIN) which is making excellent progress in the development of services to integrate existing national spatial datasets and provide INSPIRE compliant data.”
“This Framework will be a foundation for a wide range of services to benefit government, business and citizens by enabling a wealth of other information such as social or economic data to be linked and referenced to a geographical location or feature.”
She added: “During the past 10 years, EuroGeographics has built a reputation for delivering important, often pioneering, projects and providing expert advice which is respected by key decision-makers around the world. As a result, we are becoming an international non-profit organisation to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our stakeholders both now and in the future.”
The 2010 Assembly was hosted by National Geographic Institute in Belgium and the General Administration of Patrimonial Documentation – Federal Public Service, and also included keynote addresses from Pieter de Crem, Minister of Defence of Belgium; Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency; Tony Long, Director WWF European Policy Office; and Professor Geert Bouckaert, Head of the Public Management Institute of KULeuven. Other guests included former Presidents and Executive Directors of EuroGeographics.
The anniversary celebrations culminated in a reception at the European Parliament sponsored by Frieda Brepoels MEP, (INSPIRE Rapporteur) and attended by Members of the European Parliament, representatives from the European Commission and EU member states.
The 2011 General Assembly will be hosted by Land and Property Services, Northern Irelandin Belfast. More information about EuroGeographics’ work and achievements is available in its annual report at www.eurogeographics.org/about/the-association/annual-reports.