Data Governance Act

Status: Published in OJ
Type: Regulation

The Data Governance Act (DGA) is the first legislative act of the European data strategy, and it was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 3 June 2022. The DGA aims at facilitating the reuse of certain categories of protected public-sector data and increasing trust in data sharing across public sector bodies, users, data users, and data holders. It does so by allowing wider reuse of protected public-sector data, by proposing a new business model for data intermediation services and by promoting data altruism for the common good. The DGA, which provides a new framework for greater societal reuse and access to data, is the first element of an ambitious attempt to shape the European data economy. It will be complemented by the Data Act (see our observatory here). 

Our observatory tracked the legislative development of the DGA from the Commission’s proposal in November 2020 all the way to the text adopted by the EU in May 2022. The observatory now provides a historical archive of the legislative process that led to the final text of the DGA.


DGA is published on the official journal
The Data Governance Act is published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Council approves final DGA text
The Council of Ministers approved the final text of the Data Governance Act (DGA) that was agreed upon during the trilogue negotiations.
European Parliament approves final DGA text
The Parliament approved the final text of the Data Governance Act that was agreed upon during the Trilogue negotiations.
As part of Harvard’s research sprint on cooperative data governance, Elettra BiettiAnder ExteberriaMorhsed Mannanand Janis Wong argued that the direction data cooperativism is taking place in Europe...
... remains in line with a neoliberal focus on personal data and the individual imperative for each person to govern ‘their’ data
In this light, the Data Governance Act would not significantly alter the status quo for collective data governance mechanisms despite introducing the concept of data cooperatives. The authors find this attributable to the GDPR focus on personal data, which would enable cooperativism for non-personal data only. On the contrary, personal data, as highlighted in recital 24 DGA, would always require consent at the individual level, therefore making any delegation or conferral of rights to a third party impossible for personal data.
In this paper commissioned by Algorithm Watch, Winfried Veil argued that the EU is not sufficiently leveraging the concept of data altruism introduced by the Data Governance Act. Veil ascribes that as a failure because of the EU’s “religious approach” to personal data protection hindering collective governance mechanisms of personal data. In this light, GDPR is seen as a straitjacket for the concept of the data for good.
Trilogue Agreement on the DGA
Parliament and Council agreed on the final version of the Data Governance Act.
Council negotiation mandate
The Council of the European Union, under the Slovenian presidency, agreed on a negotiating mandate for the upcoming trilogue meetings on the Data Governance Act.
Parliament adopts ITRE report
The ITRE report was adopted with a majority of 66 votes in favor, 6 abstentions, and none against.
As part of the EDRIgram of July, we published a blogpost on the current state of things concerning the Data Governance Act proposal. We stress the importance of safeguarding GDPR provisions in the DGA to ensure legal certainty concerning the governance of personal data. Likewise, we highlight the missed potential of “data cooperatives” in the Data Governance Act to give rise to collective data governance mechanisms.
The Governments of Austria, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands – self-proclaimed “Friends of the Data Economy” – sent a working paper to the Slovenian presidency on the Data Governance Act. The four countries have formulated common proposals to improve the final text ahead of the Council compromise proposal, including amendments aimed to “contribute to a flourishing and responsible data economy.”
JURI opinion adopted
The Committee on Legal Affairs – represented by rapporteur Karen Melchior (RENEW), adopted its opinion on the DGA.
LIBE opinion adopted
The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs – represented by rapporteur Sergey Lagodinsky(Greens/EFA)– adopts its opinion on the DGA.
IMCO opinion adopted
The Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection – represented by rapporteur Sandro Gozi (RENEW), adopted its opinion on the DGA.
The Centre for IP & IT law of KU Leuven published a white paper on the Data Governance Act. It offers an academic perspective to the Commission proposal on three main points. First, the authors argued that the regulation of data as an object of rights may exacerbate risks with the GDPR. Second, they highlighted the lack of reference to European data spaces despite being central to the European Strategy for Data. Finally, they discuss the impact of the proposal in light of Europe’s digital sovereignty ambitions.
ITRE amendments
The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy published its amendments, collected by Rapporteur Angelika Niebler (EPP). In total, 639 amendments are submitted.
The European Data Protection Board published its opinion on the Data Governance Act. The document focuses on the lack of adequate personal data protection in the proposal, which is not sufficiently differentiated from non-personal data. Likewise, it laments a lack of GDPR primacy in data protection which could be compromised by certain provisions in the DGA. In doing so, the Board proposed a wide range of amendments to protect personal data better and ensure consistency with other policy files at the EU level.
The German presidency of the Council of the European Union publishes a compromise proposal for the Data Governance Act. The compromise aims at clarifying the scope and the definitions introduced by the DGA in light of existing initiatives in the field and clarifies the obligation for public sector bodies in making data available to the public. In addition, it stipulates more requirements for data sharing services in making data available for reuse in order to ensure their independence. Finally, it clarifies the role of competent authorities in enforcing the application of the measure and the mandate of the European Data Innovation Board.
We submitted our Feedback to the Commission’s public consultation on the Data Governance Act proposal. In our submission, we discuss the proposal from a perspective that acknowledges the fundamental role of Open Access Commons-based data sharing in the overall data ecosystems. In particular, we focus on the need to protect open access commons resources in the European data-sharing ecosystem, which is not acknowledged in the original proposal. Precisely, in the original text, they might fall under the definition of “data sharing services” and “recognized data altruism organizations.” For a comprehensive European Data Strategy, it is important to correctly reference the important society-wide function performed by open access common resources.
Public consultation closes
The European Commission closed the public consultation on the Data Governance Act proposal.
Public consultation opens
The European Commission opened a public consultation on the Data Governance Act proposal. It published the impact assessment report.
Data Governance Act proposal published
The European Commission published the proposal for a Regulation on European data governance (Data Governance Act). Together with the proposal, it also published the inception impact assessment.
Roadmap consultation closes
The European Commission’s roadmap consultation on data sharing in the EU – Common European data spaces closed.
Roadmap consultation opens
The European Commission’s roadmap consultation on data sharing in the EU – Common European data spaces opened. The Commission also published an inception impact assessment document.

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