The European strong-motion networks and individual stations have often been established and are maintained mostly with recurrent government subsidies or short-term grants. They operate as independent state, industrial or university units with little or no co-ordination between them. Some of these networks are very well run but because of the closed system within they operate, even within the same country, few co-operative research programmes or data exchange policies have developed and only a fraction of their output reaches end-users, engineers and scientists alike. Full use of larger body of data remains un-exploited so far due to problems of access and, as a result, relatively little research is generated. Theoretical methods for the prediction of ground motions have become highly developed, whilst knowledge of the observational material, the strong-motion records that can provide the acid test to these theories is restricted.
Of course, this is not a problem unique to Europe and steps have already been taken by a number of European networks and agencies to release their strong-motion data on CD-ROMs or on the Internet.