The European Commission, DG XIII, has published a discussion document on the development of a European policy framework for geographical information. The document recognizes the fact that the development of new forms of geographical information systems in Europe is severely hampered by differences in technologies and systems in use in the Member States. In particular, the lack of common standards means that data can often not be shared cost-effectively between users, and data conversion costs can exceed the costs of data purchase by as much as double the price. The Commission suggests establishing a GI2000 task force to elaborate an action plan for the implementation of a European geographical information policy. This would need political decisions in the following areas: - Agreement to set up a common approach to create European base data; - Adoption on implementation of general data creation and exchange standards; - Improvement of conditions for organizations to conduct European-level actions; - Agreement and action to make European solutions globally compatible.