Open Data: European Ambitions and Local Efforts. Experiences from Austria

  • Isabell Egger-PeitlerEmail author
  • Tobias Polzer
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 4)


The member states of the European Union are faced with the challenges of handling “big data” as well as with a growing impact of the supranational level. Given that the success of efforts at European level strongly depends on corresponding national and local activities, i.e., the quality of implementation and the degree of consistency, this chapter centers upon the coherence of European strategies and national implementations concerning the reuse of public sector information. Taking the City of Vienna’s open data activities as an illustrative example, we seek an answer to the question whether and to what extent developments at European level and other factors have an effect on local efforts towards open data. We find that the European Commission’s ambitions are driven by a strong economic argumentation, while the efforts of the City of Vienna have only very little to do with the European orientation and are rather dominated by lifestyle and administrative reform arguments. Hence, we observe a decoupling of supranational strategies and national implementation activities. The very reluctant attitude at Austrian federal level might be one reason for this, nationally induced barriers—such as the administrative culture—might be another. In order to enhance the correspondence between the strategies of the supranational level and those of the implementers at national and regional levels, the strengthening of soft law measures could be promising.


Public sector information Open data strategy European Union Austria Translation Supranational strategy 


  1. Brunsson, N. (2002). The organization of hypocrisy: Talk, decisions, actions in organizations. Oslo: Abstrackt/Liber.Google Scholar
  2. Christensen, T., & Lægreid, P. (2011). Beyond NPM? some development features. In T. Christensen & P. Laegreid (Eds.), The Ashgate research companion to new public management (pp. 391–403). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  3. Derlien, H.-U. (2003). German public administration: Weberian despite “Modernization”. In K. K. Tummala (Ed.), Comparative bureaucratic systems (pp. 97–122). Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  4. DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The Iron Cage revisited. Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48, 147–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Donau-Universität Krems. (2012). Evaluation der Open Data Umsetzung der Stadt Wien. Krems: Donau-Universität Krems.Google Scholar
  6. Dunleavy, P., Margetts, H., Bastow, S., & Tinkler, J. (2006). New public management is dead. Long live digital-era governance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 16, 467–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. European Commission. (1998). Public Sector Information: A Key Resource for Europe. Green Paper on Public Sector Information in the Information Society. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  8. European Commission. (2001). eEurope 2002: Creating a EU framework for the exploitation of public sector information. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  9. European Commission. (2009). Communication from the commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European economic and social committee and the committee of regions. Re-use of public sector information. Review of Directive 2003/98/EC. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  10. European Commission. (2010a). Europe 2020. A Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  11. European Commission. (2010b). Communication from the commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European economic and social committee and the committee of the regions. A digital agenda for Europe. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  12. European Commission. (2010c). The European eGovernment action plan 2011-2015. Harnessing ICT to Promote Smart, Sustainable & Innovative Government. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  13. European Commission. (2010d). Digitizing public services in Europe: Putting ambition into action. 9th Benchmark Measurement. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  14. European Commission. (2011a). Open data. An engine for innovation, growth and transparent governance. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  15. European Commission. (2011b). Impact assessment accompanying the document proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and the Council amending European Parliament and Council directive 2003/98/ec on the re-use of public sector information. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  16. European Commission. (2011c). Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending directive 2003/98/EC on re-use of public sector information. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  17. European Commission. (2011d). Digital agenda: Turning government data into gold—IP/11/1524. Accessed 12 Aug 2013.
  18. European Commission. (2011e). Pricing of public sector information study. Summary report. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  19. Fraunhofer IAIS. (2012). Fraunhofer-Studie Open Government Data für Kommunen im Kontext von INSPIRE und Linked Open Data. Accessed 12 Aug 2013.
  20. Hammerschmid, G., & Meyer, R. E. (2005). Public management dynamics in a federal Rechtsstaat system. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 18, 629–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hammerschmid, G., Meyer, R. E., & Demmke, C. (2007). Public administration modernization: Common reform trends or different paths and national understandings in the EU countries. In In K. Schedler & I. Proeller (Eds.), Cultural aspects of public management reforms (pp. 145–170). Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hechtner, E. (2011). Public Management — der Wiener Weg. Erfahrungen und Ausblicke. In H. Bauer, P. Biwald & E. Dearing (Eds.), Gutes Regieren. Konzepte — Realisierungen — Perspektiven (pp. 621–627). Vienna and Graz: Neuer Wissenschaftlicher.Google Scholar
  23. Hood, C. (1991). A Public management for all seasons? Public Administration, 69, 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Janssen, K. (2011). The influence of the PSI directive on open government data: An overview of recent developments. Government Information Quarterly, 28, 446–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Krabina, B., Prorok, T., & Lutz, B. (2012). Open government implementation model. Implementation of open government. Vienna: KDZ, Centre for Public Administration Research and Office of the CIO, Chief Executive Office of the City of Vienna.Google Scholar
  26. Kuhlmann, S. (2010). New public management for the “Classical continental European administration”: Modernization at the local level in Germany, France, and Italy. Public Administration, 88, 1116–1130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lapsley, I. (2009). New public management: The cruellest invention of the human spirit? Abacus, 45, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lee, G., & Kwak, Y. H. (2011). An open government implementation model. Moving to increased public engagement. Washington, D.C: IBM Center for The Business of Government.Google Scholar
  29. McKinsey. (2011). Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. Accessed 12 Aug 2013.
  30. Meyer, R. E., Brandtner, C., Kornberger, M., & Höllerer, M. A. (2012). Urban strategies in lifestyle cities. Eine vergleichende Untersuchung der Identitäten und Strategien der Städte Wien, Sydney und Kopenhagen. Vienna: Vienna University of Economics and Business, Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance.Google Scholar
  31. Meyer, R. E., Egger-Peitler, I., Hammerschmid, G., & Höllerer, M. A. (2013). Of bureaucrats and passionate public managers: institutional logics, executive identities, and public service motivation. Public Administration. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.2012.02105.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Meyer, R. E., & Hammerschmid, G. (2006). Public management reform: An identity project. Public Policy and Administration, 21, 99–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Meyer, R. E., & Hollerer, M. A. (2010). Meaning structures in a contested issue field: A topographic map of shareholder value in Austria. The Academy of Management Journal, 53, 1241–1262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Official Journal of the European Union. (2011). Commission decision of 12 December 2011 on the reuse of commission documents (2011/833/EU). Brussels: European Union.Google Scholar
  35. Official Journal of the European Union. (2013). Directive 2013/37/EU of the European Parliament and of the council of 26 June 2013 amending directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information. Brussels: European Union.Google Scholar
  36. Osborne, S. P. (2010). Introduction. The (new) public governance: A suitable case for treatment? In S. P. Osborne (Ed.), The new public governance? emerging perspectives on the theory and practice of public governance (pp. 1–16). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pollitt, C., & Bouckaert, G. (2004). Public management reform. A comparative analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Pollitt, C., & Bouckaert, G. (2011). Public management reform. A comparative analysis: New public management, governance, and the Neo-Weberian state. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Sassen, S. (2005). The global city: Introducing a concept. Brown Journal of World Affairs, 11, 27–43.Google Scholar
  40. Sunlight Foundation. (2011). Ten principles for opening up government information. Accessed 12 Aug 2013.
  41. Theimer, E. (2004). Der Weg zum Bürger - Verwaltungsmodernisierung in Wien. Der Stand der Dinge. In Handbuch der Stadt Wien, ed Magistratsdirektion der Stadt Wien, 111–116. Vienna: City of Vienna.Google Scholar
  42. United Nations. (2012). E-Government survey 2012. E-Government for the people. New York: United Nations.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wutscher, W., & Hammerschmid, G. (2005). Status der Verwaltungsreform in Österreich. Österreich auf dem Weg zu einem vorsichtigen Modernisierer. Verwaltung & Management, 11, 116–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Institute for Urban Management and GovernanceViennaAustria
  2. 2.Vienna University of Economics and Business Institute for Public Management and GovernanceViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations