The European Commission has proposed a number of policy and legislative initiatives to unlock the re-use potential of different types of data and create a common European data space.

  • November 2020 – The Commission adopted a proposed regulation on data governance. The regulation will boost data sharing across sectors and Member States. As a key pillar of the Data Strategy, this new way of data governance will increase trust in data sharing, strengthen mechanisms to increase data availability and overcome technical obstacles to the reuse of data.
  • February 2020 – The Data Strategy, an important pillar of the new digital strategy of the Commission. As part of the data strategy, the European Commission published a report on Business-to-Government (B2G) data sharing. The report coming from a high-level Expert Group contains a set of policy, legal and funding recommendations that will contribute to making B2G data sharing in the public interest a scalable, responsible and sustainable practice in the EU.
  • June 2019 – The new Directive on open data and the re-use of public sector information has taken over the rules introduced by the PSI Directive; in addition, it addresses the remaining and emerging barriers to a wide re-use of publicly funded information across the Union and brings the legislative framework up to date with the advances in digital technologies. Minimum harmonisation of national rules and practices on the re-use of publicly funded information should contribute to the smooth functioning of the internal market and the proper development of the information society in the Union. More information
  • April 2018 – The European Commission Communication Towards a common European data space and its accompanying Staff Working Document. These documents propose a package of measures as a key step towards the creation of a common data space in the EU — a seamless digital area with the scale that will enable the development of new products and services based on data.

The Commission published:

  • Other measures that are also announced in this package are: the publication of the results of the evaluation of the Database Directive and the intention to set up a Support Centre for data sharing in the EU and to organise a high-level roundtable to discuss private sector data sharing in B2G contexts.

On the basis of these documents, the Commission organised a dialogue with stakeholders, including a public consultation and a number of sectorial and horizontal workshops. These helped identify policy measures that can unleash Europe’s data economy in a digital single market. The conclusions from this process can be found in the synopsis report of the consultation. Follow-up actions include the Commission legislative proposal on the free flow of non-personal data and the 2018 Data Package.

  • April 2016 - Data technologies standards are considered as one of the five priority areas under the Communication Digitising European industry.
  • September 2016 - The Communication ‘Connectivity for a European gigabit society’ recognises connectivity as an essential enabler of the data economy.
  • Since 2015, the European Commission funds the European Data Portal through the Connecting Europe Facility. This is a pan-European repository of public sector information open for re-use in the EU. This portal also offers a training centre on how to re-use open data and a database of success stories from European and international re-users.
  • July 2014 - The Communication Towards a thriving data-driven economy and its accompanying Staff Working Document, adopted as a response to the European Council's conclusions of October 2013, which focused on the digital economy, innovation and services as drivers for growth and jobs and called for EU action to provide the right framework conditions for a single market for big data and cloud computing.

To be able to seize these opportunities and compete globally in the data economy, the EU:

  • supported ‘lighthouse’ data initiatives capable of improving competitiveness, quality of public services and citizens’ lives;
  • developed enabling technologies, underlying infrastructures and skills, particularly to the benefit of SMEs;
  • extensively shared, used and developed its public data resources and research data infrastructures;
  • focused public R&I on technological, legal and other bottlenecks;
  • ensured that the relevant legal framework and the policies are data-friendly;
  • accelerated the digitisation of public administration and services to increase their efficiency;
  • used public procurement to bring the results of data technologies to the market.