EU stimulates digital innovation by increasing the availability of publicly funded data


The EU is making a wealth of data held by the public sector more easily available for reuse as raw material for artificial intelligence, blockchain and other advanced digital technologies.

The Council today adopted new rules on open data and the reuse of public-sector data. This will boost the EU data economy, contribute to the development of a data-based society and stimulate growth and the creation of jobs in all sectors of the economy.

These rules are a real enabler for artificial intelligence and will help Europe to become a world leader in this crucial area. They will bolster the EU digital industry, especially smaller companies and start-ups, which would not otherwise have access to all the data they need to innovate and expand.

Alexandru Petrescu, Romania’s Minister for Communications and the Information Society, President of the Council

The new directive extends the scope of the rules on the reuse of public sector information (PSI) beyond public sector bodies so as to include public undertakings in the transport and utilities sectors.

It also introduces the concept of high-value datasets which are to be made available free of charge through an application programming interface (API). The text defines six broad categories of high-value datasets: geospatial, earth observation and environment, meteorological, statistics, companies and company ownership, and mobility. The list will be updated through secondary legislation.

The rules will cover publicly funded research data that is already available in public repositories. It will also encourage the dissemination of dynamic data, such as real-time weather or transport data.

Overall, public sector data will be available either free of charge or at very low cost.

In addition, the reform promotes the use of open data, meaning data in open formats that can be freely used and shared for any purpose.