On November 30, 2021, the European Commission issued a press release indicating that the European Parliament and the Council of the EU (i.e., representatives of EU Member States) reached political agreement on the proposed EU Data Governance Act. The political agreement now will be subject to final approval by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.
The EU Data Governance Act is intended to foster the availability of data by increasing trust in data intermediaries and strengthening data sharing across the EU and between sectors. It is expected to create a basis for a new way of data governance, in line with EU rules on personal data protection (e.g., EU General Data Protection Regulation), consumer protection and competition law. It is part of the European Strategy for Data, which is aimed at putting the EU at the forefront of our increasingly data-driven society.
In its press release, the European Commission highlights the main elements of the Data Governance Act, which include:
- “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 organizers 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.”
In addition to the Data Governance Act, the European Commission announced that it will publish a proposed Data Act, which is intended to maximize the value of data for the economy and society, following public consultation in September 2021.
The European Commission also indicated it 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.”
Read the European Commission Press Release.
Read the Council of Europe Press Release.