Headlines: February 28th, 2002

England, Wales and Scotland are going to be in at the beginning of a major new inititiative to get land information across Europe onto one massive computerised land registry.They have joined the computerised national land registries of Finland, Norway and Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands and Lithuania to launch the European Land Information Service (EULIS) consortium.

The consortium’s job will be do devise a system which provides key information across national boundaries.

At present, European property markets remain almost totally national. Providing a one stop shop for land information would help lending institutions to operate beyond national boundaries and foster a European market. Increased competition between international lenders could lead to lower housing costs for the citizen.

The HM Land Registry for England and Wales says the project offers a great opportunity to be at the forefront of land information services in Europe and to expand the use of public sector information for the benefit of the citizen.

Even though all the participants have computerised national land information registers in operation, there are still certain barriers that have to be overcome. There are no common principles for collecting and storing information, no common legal and regulatory framework and no agreed principles for access to data. The participating organisations have agreed to work together to overcome these difficulties.

An important first step is to improve international access to registers.

Link: www.landreg.gov.uk