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Shaping Europe’s digital future

European Data Governance Act

A European Data Governance Act, which is fully in line with EU values and principles, will bring significant benefits to EU citizens and companies.

    Visual representation of data

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A key pillar of the European strategy for data, the Data Governance Act seeks to increase trust in data sharing, strengthen mechanisms to increase data availability and overcome technical obstacles to the reuse of data.

The Data Governance Act will also support the set-up and development of common European data spaces in strategic domains, involving both private and public players, in sectors such as health, environment, energy, agriculture, mobility, finance, manufacturing, public administration and skills.

The Data Governance entered into force on 23 June 2022 and, following a 15-month grace period, will be applicable from September 2023.

Benefits

The initiative aims to make more data available and facilitate data sharing across sectors and EU countries in order to leverage the potential of data for the benefit of European citizens and businesses.

For example:

  • Good data management and data sharing will enable industries to develop innovative products and services, and will make many sectors of the economy more efficient and sustainable. It is also essential for training AI systems.
  • With more data available, the public sector can develop better policies, leading to more transparent governance and more efficient public services.
  • Data-driven innovation will bring benefits for companies and individuals by making our lives and work more efficient through:
    • health data: improving personalised treatments, providing better healthcare, and helping cure rare or chronic diseases, saving approximately €120 billion a year in the EU health sector and providing a more effective and quicker response to the global COVID-19 health crisis;
    • mobility data: saving more than 27 million hours of public transport users’ time and up to €20 billion a year in labour costs of car drivers thanks to real-time navigation; 
    • environmental data: combatting climate change, reducing CO₂ emissions and fighting emergencies, such as floods and wildfires;
    • agricultural data: developing precision farming, new products in the agri-food sector and new services in general in rural areas;
    • public administration data: delivering better and more reliable official statistics, and contributing to evidence-based decisions.

How will this work in practice?

The EU will boost the development of trustworthy data-sharing systems through 4 broad sets of measures:

  1. Mechanisms to facilitate the reuse of certain public sector data that cannot be made available as open data. For example, the reuse of health data could advance research to find cures for rare or chronic diseases.
  2. Measures to ensure that data intermediaries will function as trustworthy organisers of data sharing or pooling within the common European data spaces.
  3. Measures to make it easier for citizens and businesses to make their data available for the benefit of society.
  4. Measures to facilitate data sharing, in particular to make it possible for data to be used across sectors and borders, and to enable the right data to be found for the right purpose. 

Read Data Governance Act Explained for further information on these measures.

Impact across the EU

The Regulation on data governance will be a powerful engine for innovation and new jobs. It will allow the EU to ensure that it is at the forefront of the second wave of innovation based on data. 

Society as a whole will benefit from more evidence-based policies and better solutions to societal challenges, such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Businesses will benefit from a reduction in costs for acquiring, integrating and processing data, and from lower barriers to enter markets. They will also see a reduction in time-to-market for novel products and services. This will enable small and large firms alike to develop new data-driven products and services. 

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A European Strategy for data

The strategy for data focuses on putting people first in developing technology, and defending and promoting European values and rights in the digital world.

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Data Governance Act explained

The Data Governance Act provides a framework to enhance trust in voluntary data sharing for the benefit of businesses and citizens.

See Also

Data Act

The Data Act is a key measure for making more data available for use in line with EU rules and values.

Free flow of non-personal data

The EU wants to ensure a free flow of data in Europe, allowing companies and public administrations to store and process non-personal data wherever they choose.

Big data

Data has become a key asset for the economy and our societies and the need to make sense of ‘big data’ is leading to innovations in technology.