At the end of September 2019 data experts from across Europe gathered at the UK Data Archive (UKDA) for the annual CESSDA Expert Seminar (CES 2019). Belgium was represented by the SODA project, one of whose researchers gave a presentation about the new Open Data and Public Sector Information directive.
In June 2019 the European Union published the revised directive 2019/1024 known as the European Legislation on Open Data and the Re-Use of Public Sector Information. As of now the scope of this directive will include research data. Consequently, every citicen in Europe now has the right to re-use research data gathered thanks to public funds. Yet before a citizen can exercise this right, research data must be published by an institutional or thematic repository. This right to re-use is established in article 10, §2 of the new directive and forms the minimum standard for every member state.
On top of this, article 10, §1 of the directive legalizes many standards promoted by data archives such as the FAIR principles and the ‘as closed as necessary, as open as possible’ rule of thumb. EU Member States must take further action to by publishing an open access policy.
Now it will be interesting to see how EU Member States will this transpose this revision into national law. At the CES 2019 a lively discussion enisued following this presentation about how CESSDA data archives could position themselves toward national governments to help in the transposition of this legislation. This is a very interesting development for the data archives in the CESSDA network. Their work and practices have now been recognized by a legal instrument for the whole of the European Union.
The SODA project team will make sure to keep up to date with future developments in this respect.