The success of Europe’s digital transformation over the next five years will depend on establishing effective frameworks to ensure trustworthy technologies, and to give businesses the confidence and means to digitise.

The Data Strategy and the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence are the first pillars of the new digital strategy of the Commission. They all focus on the need to put people first in developing technology, as well as on the need to defend and promote European values and rights in how we design, make and deploy technology in the real economy.

The European strategy for data aims at creating a single market for data that will ensure Europe’s global competitiveness and data sovereignty. Common European data spaces will ensure that more data becomes available for use in the economy and society, while keeping companies and individuals who generate the data in control.

Data is an essential resource for economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, job creation and societal progress in general.

Data driven applications will benefit citizens and businesses in many ways. They can:

  • improve health care
  • create safer and cleaner transport systems
  • generate new products and services
  • reduce the costs of public services
  • improve the sustainability and energy efficiency

Businesses will have more data available to innovate. This will be done by launching practical, fair and clear rules on data access and use, which comply with European values and rules such as personal data protection.

To ensure the EU’s leadership in the global data economy, this European strategy for data intends to: 

  • Adopt legislative measures on data governance, access and reuse, for example for business-to-government data sharing for the public interest;
  • Make data more widely available by opening up high-value publicly held datasets across the EU and allowing their reuse for free;
  • Invest €2 billion in a European High Impact Project to develop data processing infrastructures, data sharing tools, architectures and governance mechanisms for thriving data sharing and to federate energy-efficient and trustworthy cloud infrastructures and related services;
  • Enable access to secure, fair and competitive cloud services by facilitating the set-up of a procurement marketplace for data processing services and creating clarity about the applicable regulatory framework on cloud framework of rules on cloud;
  • Empower users to stay in control of their data and investing in capacity building for small and medium-sized enterprises and digital skills;
  • Foster the roll out of common European data spaces in crucial sectors such as industrial manufacturing, green deal, mobility or health.

As part of the data strategy, the European Commission has published a report on Business-to-Government (B2G) data sharing. The report coming from a high-level Expert Group contains a set of policy, legal and funding recommendations that will contribute to making B2G data sharing in the public interest a scalable, responsible and sustainable practice in the EU.

Open consultation

The open public consultation on the European strategy for data ran from 19 February to 31 May 2020. The summary report takes stock of the contributions and presents preliminary trends that emerge from them, focusing on quantitative aspects.

Related documents:

Background information: