European Commission Regulation (EC) 651/2014 states that Member States have to publish information about their state aid measures and in particular individual aid awards of more than EUR 500,000. This information should be published on a comprehensive state aid website. DG Competition needs to provide the means for the MSs to comply with this regulation. The information has high public value and has not been previously available as reusable open data.
With some countries already implementing their solutions and others working on their own, DG Competition needs a way to integrate these separate applications and publish all the data in a machine-readable format. The ISA Core Vocabularies were used and extended to develop and RDF vocabulary for the purpose.
Apart from enabling Member States and DG Competition to comply with EC regulations, this work also contributes to stakeholders such as budget monitors and watchdogs, journalists and academics.
What is the data about
To be fully compliant, Member States collect, verify and submit transparency information to DG Competition, who will then publish the information as open, machine-readable data. There is a clear description of the information in the Annex III of the Regulation, requiring the information to include details about implemented aid measures, objective of the aid, date of granting, value expressed in the national currency, etc. Furthermore, there needs to be data about the beneficiaries of the aids: name, type of enterprise, sector of activity, etc.
The RDF vocabulary
The vocabulary for state aid transparency data is reusing the Legal Entity and Address classes of the ISA Core Vocabularies. This means that integrating this data with data coming from other Core-Vocabulary-conformant sources, such as BRIS, the pilots developed by ISA Action 1.1, or OpenCorporates, becomes very easy.
The flexibility of RDF enables the reuse of the Core Vocabularies at the conceptual, but also the syntax level. RDF easily allows reusing terms (classes and properties) from existing vocabularies to develop new ones, provided domain and range restrictions are respected.
Creating a new vocabulary for the State Aid Transparency domain by reusing the ISA Core Vocabularies demonstrates the cross-sector nature of the Core Vocabularies and their easy reuse to support applications specific to different policy domains.
To find more about the new vocabulary for publishing machine-readable stae aid transparency data, open the report.