Insights European Parliament and Council of the EU reach provisional agreement on Data Governance Act


The Data Governance Act (DGA) aims to increase trust in data sharing, creates new EU rules on the neutrality of data marketplaces and facilitates the reuse of certain data held by the public sector, e.g., certain health, agricultural or environmental data. It also sets up common European data spaces in certain areas, such as health, environment, energy, agriculture, mobility, finance, manufacturing, public administration and skills. The EU Parliament says that the potential of artificial intelligence cannot be unlocked without data sharing, and the DGA aims to help start-ups and businesses develop an ecosystem based on EU standards. (For further information on the DGA and what it covers see N2K 1 to 7 October 2021).

The EU Parliament says that during negotiations MEPs ensured there were no loopholes that would allow operators from non-EU countries to abuse the scheme by strengthening provisions on trust and fair access. MEPs also secured precise requirements on which services will fall under the new DGA.

According to the EU Parliament, MEPs pushed to make the most of data made available voluntarily for objectives of general interest, such as scientific research, healthcare, combating climate change or improving mobility. Trusted data-sharing services will be more visible and use a common European logo certifying their compliance with the DGA.

MEPs also beefed up the Data Innovation Board, which will provide expertise when decisions on data governance need to be made. The Board will advise the Commission on cybersecurity for data exchanges and storage, and push for international standardisation and portability of data.

Public sector bodies will have to avoid creating exclusive rights for the re-use of certain data, and exclusive agreements should be limited to a period of 12 months for new contracts, and 2.5 years for existing ones, to make more data available to SMEs and start-ups.

The agreement will now have to be formally endorsed by Parliament and Council before it can come into force. To read the EU Parliament’s press release in full, click here. To read the Council’s press release in full, click here.