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European data strategy

Making the EU a role model for a society empowered by data

The European data strategy aims to make the EU a leader in a data-driven society. Creating a single market for data will allow it to flow freely within the EU and across sectors for the benefit of businesses, researchers and public administrations.

Data governance

A single market for data

The EU is creating a single market for data where

  • data can flow within the EU and across sectors, for the benefit of all
  • European rules, in particular privacy and data protection, as well as competition law, are fully respected
  • the rules for access and use of data are fair, practical and clear

The EU will become an attractive, secure and dynamic data economy by

  • setting clear and fair rules on access and re-use of data
  • investing in next generation tools and infrastructures to store and process data
  • joining forces in European cloud capacity
  • pooling European data in key sectors, with common and interoperable data spaces
  • giving users rights, tools and skills to stay in full control of their data

European data act

With the European data act proposed in February 2022, the Commission aims to make more data available for use, and set up rules on who can use and access what data for which purposes across all economic sectors in the EU. The new rules are expected to create €270 billion of additional GDP for EU Member States by 2028 by addressing the legal, economic and technical issues that lead to data being underused.

Consumers and businesses generate data by using products and services. With the Data Act, they will benefit from:

  • cheaper prices for aftermarket services and reparation of their connected objects
  • new opportunities to use services relying on access to this data
  • better access to data collected or produced by a device

By having more information, consumers and users such as farmers, airlines or construction companies will be in a position to take better decisions such as buying higher quality or more sustainable products and services, thereby contributing for example to the Green Deal objectives.

Examples of industrial and commercial data use

  • Jet engines filled with thousands of sensors collect and transmit data back to ensure efficient operation.
  • Wind farms use industrial data to reduce visual impact and optimise wind power.
  • Real-time traffic avoidance navigation can save up to 730 million hours. This represents up to €20 billion in labour costs.
  • Real-time notification of delayed trains can save 27 million working hours. This amounts to €740 million in labour costs.
  • Better allocation of resources to fight malaria could save up to €5 billion in healthcare costs globally.

Projected figures 2025


increase of global data volume

from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to 175 zettabytes

€829 billion

value of data economy in the EU27

from €301 billion (2.4% of EU GDP) in 2018

10.9 million

data professionals in the EU27

from 5.7 million in 2018


Percentage of EU population with basic digital skills

from 57% in 2018


23 FEBRUARY 2022
Proposal for a Regulation on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act)

23 FEBRUARY 2022
Factsheet: Data Act

23 FEBRUARY 2022
Overview of the common European data spaces

19 FEBRUARY 2020
Communication: A European strategy for data
(274.43 KB - HTML)

19 FEBRUARY 2020
Factsheet: the European data strategy
(5.95 KB - HTML)

7 JULY 2020
Data governance and data policies at the European Commission
(584.57 KB - PDF)