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Commission presents new study monitoring data flows in Europe

The Commission has published a study mapping and estimating the volume of data flowing to main cloud infrastructures across the 27 Member States, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.

graphic representing data flows

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The study provides an overview of volume and types of cloud data inflows and outflows per economic sector, location, size of enterprises and type of cloud services. Policy and decision makers as well as business leaders and public administrations can use it as a reference point to support decision making towards future trade agreements, industrial decisions and cloud investments.

A new methodology was developed to quantify data flows for the study. Results show that in 2020, the largest data flows came from the health sector, and Germany registered the largest volume of data inflow. The report also estimates that by 2030, the flow of data stemming from European enterprises will be 15 times higher than in 2020.

Furthermore, a follow-up study has been started this year to assess the economic values of data inflows and outflows within the EU (on top of their volumes), as well as with third countries such as the US and China. By further investigating trends in data flows as one key dimension of the data market, this will work in synergy with the upcoming Data Act in order to foster a more vivid, dynamic and fluid cloud market. Measuring data flows across Europe and beyond is one of the key actions foreseen by the European Strategy for Data. It will also feed into the evaluation of the EU Regulation on the Free Flow of Non-Personal Data, as well as for the cloud uptake target under the Digital Decade policy programme.

Full study and online visualisation tool