European Parliament allows data to flow more smoothly to those who need it

The European Parliament on Wednesday approved new legislation that should allow data to be shared more easily and made more widely available to start-ups and SMEs.

The Data Governance Act (DGA) should allow Europe to handle data in a different way than the US or China, said rapporteur Angelika Niebler during a press conference. The German Christian Democrat stated that data is big business in the US and a state matter in China. The aim is to give Europe the opportunity to become a leader in digital innovation and to challenge the data monopolists.

The legislation should increase trust in data sharing, create new rules on the neutrality of data marketplaces and facilitate the reuse of certain data held by the public sector. European data spaces will be created in strategic sectors such as health, environment, energy, agriculture, mobility, finance, manufacturing, public administration and training. Think of the reuse of certain health data for research into rare or chronic diseases.

Public interest

Data should be made available voluntarily for the public interest, such as scientific research, healthcare, the fight against climate change or improving mobility. Reliable data sharing services will use a European logo to indicate that they are following the provisions of the DGA. The regulation contains privacy guarantees and instruments that give citizens and companies control over the data they produce.



I have been hearing from companies for at least ten years: we have no data. That is a serious stumbling block for entrepreneurship, research and innovation.

Geert Bourgeois

Member European Parliament (N-VA)

Public institutions should avoid granting exclusive rights for the reuse of certain data, and exclusive agreements should be limited to 12 months for new contracts and 2.5 years for existing contracts.

‘I have been hearing from companies for at least ten years: we have no data. That is a serious stumbling block for entrepreneurship, research and innovation’, says European Parliament Member Geert Bourgeois (N-VA). “This regulation is definitely a step in the right direction.”

‘The use of data benefits many sectors, such as agriculture and healthcare, but also other companies, consumers, government services and our society as a whole’, responds Tom Vandenkdelaere (CD&V). ‘However, the foundation for our data economy must be based on trust. That is why Parliament has insisted on a clearly defined scope, so that there are no loopholes for misuse of data.’

The texts have yet to be formally approved by the European Council.

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