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CEF Building Blocks will enable swift realisation of EU Data Governance Act

On 25 November 2020, the European Commission proposed a Regulation on European data governance (the Data Governance Act). The deployment of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Building Blocks will help ensure the swift realisation of this regulation and pan-European data governance.

This legal instrument aims to increase foster the availability of data for use by encouraging  trust in data intermediaries and by strengthening data-sharing mechanisms across the EU in the following situations:

  • Making public-sector data available for re-use;
  • Sharing of data among businesses, against remuneration in any form.
  • Allowing personal data to be used with the help of a ‘personal data-sharing intermediary’, designed to help individuals exercise their rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Allowing data use on altruistic grounds;

The proposed Data Governance Act will be the basis for a new form of European data governance that is in line with EU values and principles, such as personal data protection (GDPR), consumer protection and competition rules. It offers an alternative model to the data-handling practices of big tech platforms, who have been able to acquire a high degree of market power due to business models that involve the control of large amounts of data.

In  order  to  successfully  implement  this  data  governance  framework,  a  European  Data Innovation  Board  should  be  established,  in  the  form  of  an  expert  group, consisting of EU Member   States,   the   Commission   and representatives of relevant data spaces and specific sectors (such as health, agriculture, transport  and  statistics).

The proposed Digital Governance Act states that “the  Board  should  support  the  Commission  in  coordinating  national  practices  and policies  on  the  topics  covered  by  this  Regulation,  and  in  supporting  cross-sector  data use  by  adhering  to  the  European  Interoperability  Framework  (EIF)  principles  and through the utilisation of standards and specifications and  the  CEF  Building  Blocks”.

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funds a set of generic and reusable Digital Service Infrastructures (DSI), also known as Building Blocks. The CEF Building Blocks offer basic capabilities, reusable in any European project to facilitate the delivery of digital public services across borders and sectors. Currently, there are eight Building Blocks: Big Data Test Infrastructure, Context Broker, eArchiving, eDelivery, eID, eInvoicing, eSignature and eTranslation.

A Blockchain DSI (the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure) will soon become a fully operational Building Block, and the Once Only Principle is a preparatory action under CEF.

Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said: “You don't have to share all data. But if you do and the data is sensitive you should be able to do so in a manner where data can be trusted and protected. We want to give business and citizens the tools to stay in control of their data. And to build trust that data is handled in line with European values and fundamental rights.”

Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “We are defining today a truly European approach to data sharing. Our new regulation will enable trust and facilitate the flow of data across sectors and Member States while putting all those who generate data in the driving seat. With the ever-growing role of industrial data in our economy, Europe needs an open yet sovereign Single Market for data. Flanked by the right investments and key infrastructures, our regulation will help Europe become the world's number one data continent.”

Visit CEF Digital to get started using one or more of the CEF Building Blocks.

Last updated on  Feb 17, 2021 19:02

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