European Commission welcomes European Parliament’s vote on new rules for sharing public sector data

April 4, 2019

The European Parliament has approved the Open Data and Public Sector Information Directive that aims to significantly improve the availability and innovative use of public and publicly-funded data. It is hoped that this will fuel the development of data-intensive technologies such as artificial intelligence.

The new directive is a successor to the Public Sector Information Directive (2003/98/EC, which was reviewed in 2013) that governs the re-use of data generated by public sector bodies (e.g. legal, traffic, meteorological and financial, etc.) for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

On 25 April 2018, the European Commission adopted the 2018 Data Package, addressing for the first time different types of data (public, private, scientific) within a coherent policy framework, making use of different policy instruments. Any re-use of personal data under the Open Data and Public Sector Information Directive must comply fully with the GDPR.

The legislation will make a selection of datasets of particular socio-economic importance (high-value datasets) freely and openly available across the EU, via Application Programming Interfaces.

Next steps

The text adopted by the European Parliament must be formally approved by the Council of the EU. Member States will then have to implement the revised rules within two years before they take effect. The European Commission will start working with the Member States on the identification of the high-value datasets.