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At its 24 June meeting in Luxembourg, the Environment Council reached a unanimous policy agreement on the draft INSPIRE directive, which creates a legal framework for the establishment and operation of a geographical information infrastructure in Europe. Its purpose is twofold: First, to make top-quality geographical data available at all levels in the Member States, in order to better implement community policies; and, second, to give the public access to the information.
INSPIRE is completely in step with other laws in this area, and in particular with the directive on public access to information on the environment. According to Lucien Lux, the Council’s President, "the unanimous policy agreement was necessary due to the European Commission’s stated opposition on this issue. INSPIRE mainly pertains to environmental policy, but is of course open to use by other sectors."
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