Statements

null Feedback on the European Commission's roadmap concerning the implementing regulation on high-value datasets held by the public sector

Developing data economy boosts innovation that is crucial for Europe's future competitiveness and wellbeing. In order to support this development, Europe must make efforts to improve both the quality and quantity of freely available data. The Open Data Directive and the upcoming implementing act on high-value datasets (HVD’s) are important building blocks of the European data economy and must therefore be swiftly implemented and enforced.

CSC supports the selection of high-value datasets based on their high social, economic and environmental potential and acknowledges the contribution of such datasets to the creation of the common European data spaces foreseen in the European Strategy for Data (COM/2020/66 final). Making high-quality public datasets freely available will have a number of positive consequences. First, it will encourage other actors to also improve the quality, accessibility, availability and re-usability of their data. Second, it will result in wider re-use of public sector data which will in turn increase the efficiency of public administration.

While deeming the quality of the high-value datasets highly important, CSC understands the need to balance the technical requirements of the datasets with the implementation capacity of the data holders. CSC also agrees with the definition that ‘data excluded or restricted from access by virtue of national law or Union law will not be taken into account for the list of high-value datasets’ as this will make it easier for the Member States to enforce the initiative.

In CSC’s view, it is particularly useful to have the high-value datasets bundled with geospatial data and to enable additional bundling with sensor and mobility data. The expected wide availability of climate-related datasets is also highly important as it supports the digital innovations, research and coordinated policy-making needed for tackling the climate crisis. Having the UN 2030 sustainability goals widely accepted, better availability of company data will improve market transparency and thus assist in building a more transparent society allowing civic oversight and to fight against fraud and abuse.

In order to create a flourishing data economy, the EU must put more focus on supporting the usage of data by startups and SMEs, aiming for free flow and high level of re-use of data between sectors, leading to new innovations and solutions, ultimately boosting European competitiveness. Thus, all barriers for data movement and re-use between different sectors must be removed.

Data is cross-sectoral and horizontal in nature, thus it requires a comprehensive, holistic approach. Thus, all parallel regulations and initiatives concerning data must be reviewed and made coherent at European level. Europe must systematically avoid building new barriers for data movement, and the need for new regulation must be critically assessed. Instead, soft law and common practices approaches must be developed, and active attempts to reduce and harmonise legislation must be made across the Member States.