European Directive on Open Data

AI Data Net

The deadline for European Union Member States to transpose the European Union’s 2019 Open Data Directive Nr 2019/1024 on open data and reuse of public sector information into national law expired on 16 July 2021. The new rules update a directive originally agreed in 2013 and address some of the issues that arose in implementing that directive. New developments in digital technology have also been considered.

The original directive and the updated directive are designed to support the development of innovative solutions using data collected in the public sector. This data should in many cases be made available for re-use. Public sector authorities are not able to charge more than a “marginal cost” for the reuse of their data (except in a few limited cases).

The revised directve has a particular focus on “high-value” datasets which are referred to in Art 13 (1) of the Directive. These are datasets in the field of

  1. geospatial
  2. earth observation and environment
  3. meteorological
  4. statistics
  5. companies and company ownership
  6. mobility

It is the intention of the European Commission to publish a list of such datasets in 2021 to encourage their use by innovators.

Research data from publicly funded research should also be made available under Art. 10 of the Directive. However, there is the provision to restrict access to the extent that it is necessary to protect personal data and enable the filing of intellectual property rights, such as patents. Research performing organisations and research funding organisations are not required in general to process requests for re-use of the data that they store.

It will be interesting to see how the directive is implemented in the next few years and whether it achieves its aim of encouraging innovation and data sharing.

Should you have any questions about data sharing or access to public sector information, then contact us.

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