Unlocking the Potential of Data: The European Data Governance Act

By Andrea Maura

In a digital age characterized by the exponential growth of data, the European Union is taking a significant step towards harnessing the power of information with the European Data Governance Act. This legislation, which came into force on June 23, 2022, and became applicable in September 2023 following a 15-month grace period, holds the promise of bringing substantial benefits to both EU citizens and businesses.

Building Trust and Breaking Down Barriers

At its core, the Data Governance Act is designed to foster trust in data sharing while addressing the technical challenges that often hinder its reuse. This initiative is pivotal in the broader European strategy for data, which seeks to facilitate data availability and enhance cross-sector and cross-border data sharing.

One of the central objectives of the Act is the establishment and advancement of common European data spaces in key domains such as health, environment, energy, agriculture, mobility, finance, manufacturing, public administration, and skills. These data spaces will involve collaboration between private and public entities and pave the way for innovation and progress in these vital sectors.

The Benefits of Data Governance

The benefits of this legislation are far-reaching and encompass various aspects of our lives:

  1. Fostering Innovation: Proper data management and sharing will serve as a catalyst for industries to develop innovative products and services. It is the lifeblood of training AI systems, enabling them to make smarter decisions.
  2. Enhanced Governance: More accessible data will empower the public sector to craft better policies, leading to transparent governance and more efficient public services.
  3. Data-Driven Solutions: Data-driven innovation holds the promise of transforming our lives and work, making them more efficient and sustainable. This includes improving personalized healthcare, saving billions in the EU health sector, enhancing mobility through real-time navigation, combating climate change with environmental data, revolutionizing agriculture with precision farming, and improving public administration through reliable official statistics.

The Practical Implementation

The EU will implement the Data Governance Act through a set of four comprehensive measures:

  1. Reusing Public Sector Data: Certain public sector data that cannot be open will be made available for reuse, particularly in critical areas like healthcare research.
  2. Trustworthy Data Intermediaries: Data intermediaries will be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring trustworthy data sharing within European data spaces.
  3. Empowering Citizens and Businesses: Measures will be put in place to make it easier for individuals and companies to contribute their data for the greater good.
  4. Facilitating Cross-Sector Data Sharing: This entails streamlining data sharing processes across sectors and borders, ensuring the right data is accessible for the right purpose.

A Catalyst for Innovation and Progress

The Data Governance Act isn’t just about data; it’s about fostering innovation, creating jobs, and addressing pressing societal challenges like climate change and global health crises. It will drive down costs for acquiring, integrating, and processing data, lowering barriers to market entry. Both small and large enterprises will have the opportunity to develop data-driven products and services, stimulating economic growth and job creation.

As we move forward in the digital era, the European Data Governance Act stands as a testament to the EU’s commitment to ensuring that data becomes a force for good, benefiting society as a whole while fostering economic growth and innovation. It’s a bold step towards unlocking the potential of data and building a brighter future for all.

About the Author

Andrea MauraAndrea Maura is an Aliant Lawyer from Aliant Legal Grounds Italy.  He is active as a litigator primarily in insurance cases, and he is often a speaker and a trainer at conferences and workshops held by insurance companies, intermediaries, and associations. Besides his participation to numerous collective operas, and publishing on legal magazines in the insurance sector, Andrea has published three books as a solo author: “The civil and penal responsibility of the directors of incorporated companies”, (Halley 2007), “Damaging party, damaged party, and automobile liability insurance”, (Maggioli 2011) and “Damages liquidation in automobile liability insurance”, (Maggioli 2014).

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