Political agreement to boost data sharing and support European data spaces

The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached today between the European Parliament and EU Member States on a European Data Governance Act. Trilogue negotiations have now concluded, paving the way for final approval of the legal text by the European Parliament and the Council.

Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said: “This Regulation is a first building block for establishing a solid and fair data-driven economy. It is about setting up the right conditions for trustful data sharing in line with our European values and fundamental rights. We are creating a safe environment in which data can be shared across sectors and Member States for the benefit of society and the economy.”

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “With the Data Governance Act agreed today, we are defining a common approach to data sharing – the European way. We are facilitating the flow of growing industrial data across sectors and Member States to help Europe become the world’s number one data continent. We are doing so by building trust, putting the individuals and companies who generate data in the driving seat so they remain in control of the data they create. In a nutshell: an open yet sovereign European Single Market for data.”   

The Data Governance Act proposed in November 2020 will create the basis for a new European way of data governance in accordance with EU rules, such as personal data protection (GDPR), consumer protection and competition rules. Thanks to this Regulation, more data will be available and exchanged in the EU, across sectors and Member States. It will boost data sharing and the development of common European data spaces, such as manufacturing, cultural heritage and health, as announced in the European strategy for data.

Next Steps

The political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council.

The Commission will soon also propose a second major legislative initiative, the Data Act, to maximise the value of data for the economy and society. The Data Act aims to foster data sharing among businesses, and between businesses and governments. An open public consultation ran from 3 June to 3 September 2021 and the results will be published in the following days.

In addition to these two complementary initiatives, the Commission will further develop and fund European data spaces to pool data in key strategic sectors and areas of public interest, such as health, agriculture and manufacturing.

Background

The proposal for a Data Governance Act, presented on 25 November 2020, is the first legislative initiative that has been adopted under the European strategy for data.

The Regulation includes:

  • Measures to increase trust in data sharing as the lack of trust is currently a major obstacle and results in high costs;
  • New EU rules on neutrality to allow novel data intermediaries to function as trustworthy organisers of data sharing;
  • Measures to facilitate the reuse of certain data held by the public sector. For example, the reuse of health data, under clear conditions, could advance research to find cures for rare or chronic diseases;
  • Tools to give Europeans control over the use of the data they generate by making it easier and safer for companies and individuals to voluntarily make their data available for the wider common good under clear conditions.
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