Digital data is an essential resource for economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, job creation and societal progress in general.
The EU needs to ensure that data flows across borders and sectors. This data should be accessible and reusable by most stakeholders in an optimal way. A coordinated European approach is essential for the development of the data economy, as part of the Digital Single Market strategy.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation and dialogue with stakeholders on these topics to gather further evidence. This process will help identify future policy or legislative measures that will unleash Europe's data economy.
Free flow of data means the freedom to process and store data in electronic format anywhere within the EU. It is necessary for the development and use of innovative data technologies and services.
In order to achieve the free flow of data, the European Commission will collect more evidence on data location restrictions and assess their impacts on businesses, especially SMEs and startups, and public sector organisations. The Commission will also discuss the justifications for and proportionality of those data location restrictions with Member States and other stakeholders. It will then take justified and appropriate follow-up actions, in line with better regulation principles, to address the issue.
The European Commission is currently defining, scoping and articulating the following issues in order to trigger and frame a dialogue with stakeholders:
This consultation process will contribute to the policy choices taken by the European Commission in the future.