High-level Open Data Conference opens possibility for Open Data Region
High-level Open Data Conference held in Brussels on Wednesday 14 June 2017 was the opportunity to envisage the innovative idea of an Open Data Region which would include the Western Balkans and countries from the Danube region.
The Conference was organized by the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) as an effort to explore options of bringing regional cooperation to a higher level by defining innovative, integrated regional solutions on the common topic of Open Data.
Ratka Sekulovic, Director of ReSPA underlined the importance of Open Data, Open Government Data and Open Government Partnerships in the governance reform process and said that “institutional capacity building seems needed and justified more than ever.”
“Public administrations are not only faced with financial constraints, but are equally challenged with growing demands and sometimes even public mistrust regarding their effectiveness and efficiency, especially on the issue of the fight against corruption,” Sekulovic said.
“This Conference is the testimony of the importance of ReSPA. It represents the manifestation of its relevance and shows how strong ReSPA has become in the Western Balkans”, Bernard Brunet of European Commission’s DG NEAR said.
Milena Harito, Minister of Innovation and Public Administration of the Republic of Albania and Chairperson of the ReSPA Board, pointed out that everyone who comes from the Western Balkans region knows that the region needs modernisation and more progress.
“The EU accession path is an excellent mean for that. Open Data and Open Government Data are the instruments for our modernisation, not as a technical part, but as the heart of all our efforts,” she said.
Jean-Francois Junger of the European Commission’s DG CONNECT explained that the EU Action Plan 2016-2020 recognized that the e-government should not be looked at the way of using ICT to transfer data, but take it further so that “the next level is to consider ICT as an instrument showing how the administration is working.”
High level participants from the respected fields put their effort together in order to identify, formulate and understand challenges and opportunities of and for Open Data, Open Government Data and Open Government Partnerships and agree on common plans and actions towards creating a true digital society.