The Workshop on INSPIRE implementation in the Danube Region

The workshop on implementation of the Danube strategy and the INSPIRE Directive was held in Belgrade from 3rd to 5th November 2014.

The workshop on INSPIRE implementation in the Danube Region was organised by European Commission – Join Research Centre, the World Bank and FAO. Republic Geodetic Authority was host and co-organiser of the workshop, which was held in Belgrade from 3rd to 5th November 2014. The workshop was attended by the JRC team, representatives from the World Bank and FAO, the countries from the Danube Region (members of the Danube_net group), the European Environmental Agency, the Geonovum (the NSDI executive committee in the Netherlands), as well as representatives from the Serbian authorities.

The workshop is organised within the project ²Danube Reference Data and Service Infrastructure – DRDSI². The project is implementing by JRC in cooperation with members of the Danube_net that have been appointed as national representatives from 14 countries from the Danube River basin. The DRDSI project was launched during 2013 in order to develop a technical infrastructure that will facilitate access to harmonised data sets related to the Danube Region. The DRDSI project contributes to the Danube Strategy implementation through encompassing data related to the four vertical priorities: environment protection, navigability, irrigation and agricultural development and energy production.

The three thematic sessions were covered during the workshop:

  1. Danube Reference Data and Services Infrastructure Workshop; 3rd November 2014

  2. Workshop on Spatial Data Infrastructures and Open Data in Central and Eastern Europe; 4th November 2014

  3. INSPIRE Training; 5th November 2014

The first day of the workshop was dedicated to consider with Danube_net members status of the activities on the implementation of the DRDSI project. Discussion was focused on the degree of the progress being made on the project activities on identification and documentation of datasets relevant to the Danube Strategy.

Professor Miroslav Veskovic, rector of the University of Novi Sad and Coordinator of the Danube Strategy Steering Group for the priority area 7 (Knowledge society and ICT), introduced about the on-going activities in this area and opportunities for Serbian contribution to the Danube Strategy implementation. The national representatives from Danube_net presented the status in their countries. Particular attention has been paid on the identification of possible gaps and common issues between the 14 participating countries.

Workshop on Spatial Data Infrastructures and Open Data in Central and Eastern Europe was organised together with the World Bank and FAO aiming to initiate discussion about challenges faced by data providers in Central and Eastern Europe at open data related matters. Especially, the experience of EU Member States in the implementation of the INSPIRE directive was considered.

Assistant directors of the Republic Geodetic Authority, Miljan Kuzmanovic-Kostic and Sasa Djurovic opened the workshop and thanked the organisers for the opportunity to be host of the event. During the workshop, discussion was focused on exploration of opportunities for cooperation and participation in joint projects to support the establishment of a framework for open access to geoinformation.

In addition, the Serbian representatives, from the relevant sectors for the implementation of the project, presented the national experience in the priority areas for the implementation of the Danube Strategy. On that occasion, it was presented the most important activities for NSDI establishment and outcomes of the IGIS project, which can significantly contribute to the realisation of the DRDSI project. Additionally, the Serbian experts presented the activities in the field of the environmental protection and the status of implementation of the LPIS project in Serbia.

Mr Alessandro Annoni, head of the JRC – Digital Earth and Reference Data Unit as well as leader of the DRDSI project, chaired a roundtable, where was discussed about possibilities to provide support from the World Bank and FAO for the countries in Central and Eastern Europe through projects for implementation of the INSPIRE directive and open data policies. The Danube_net members considered ideas for pilot projects that will bring together data providers and users to ensure better utilization of spatial data. The importance of cross-sector and cross-border cooperation was highlighted.

The training of the INSPIRE directive was held on the third day of the workshop. The training was held by Vlado Cetl from the Faculty of Geodesy in Zagreb. The aim of the course was provision of an overview of the INSPIRE principles and components for implementation of the Directive. The following session was held:

  • General Overview of the INSPIRE Directive and relations to other policies

  • INSPIRE Principles, components and implementation

  • Data scope in INSPIRE

  • INSPIRE in action (practical demo and examples)

In addition, it was discussed about issues and challenges faced during NSDI establishment, precisely about implementation of the INSPIRE technical requirements. Particularly, the participants emphasised need to create a favourable institutional framework for cooperation and data sharing.

The training was attended by representatives from the Danube region countries as well as the national representatives from ministries, authorities, agencies, autonomous provinces and local administration, public enterprises, educational and research institutions and the private sector who produce or use geodata.