The Commission is itself a producer and holder of public sector information, which can be reused in added-value information products. It seeks to set an example by applying an 'Open Data' policy with respect such content, encouraging the reuse of documents.

For this reason, the Commission adopted a Decision on the reuse of Commission documents.

The decision on the reuse of Commission documents has the following key features:

As a default rule, reuse is allowed for non-commercial and commercial purposes

  • without the need for an individual application,
  • without charging the reuser;
  • without putting conditions on the reuse and
  • without discriminating between reusers.

Each of these features is subject only to limited, duly justified exceptions.

The decision does, however, not apply to:

  • Software or documents covered by industrial property rights (such as patents, trademarks etc)
  • Documents for which the Commission is not in a position to allow re-use in view of intellectual property rights of third parties
  • Documents made accessible to a party under specific rules governing privileged access to documents.

In order to make reuse of its documents as easy as possible, in February 2019 the Commission also adopted a Decision that defines two Creative Commons licences as default licences for Commission content:

Please see also internal study undertaken that underpins the choice made by this Decision. It examined different licensing options, including the development of a bespoke licence by the Commission.