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Opinion Number: CDR 1959/2022
Rapporteur: KARJALAINEN Anne
Commission: ECON
Status: Adopted
Date: 30/06/2022
 
For cities and municipalities it is of paramount importance to have access to private data in case of emergency, which the present legislative proposal factors in. The opinion then seeks to address the access of public authorities to data from data holders, namely in case of emergencies, by referring to the public interest. In addition, it also suggests that, in addition to the legal obligations on data sharing laid down in the proposed Regulation, data holders should be encouraged using "soft measures", such as financial incentives and platforms for the exchange of best practices.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- welcomes the proposal as it seeks to allow the free flow of non-personal data between businesses, from the private sector to public authorities, from authorities to businesses and between authorities. The proposal is seen as an important trust-building measure between private companies and authorities for the processing of data, and sets out clear provisions on contractual agreements for data sharing and compensation for the use of data.

- data sharing is important for effective enforcement at national and sub-national level, and the Committee points out that data access is a key issue, especially for local and regional authorities;

- suggests that, in addition to the legal obligations on data sharing laid down in the proposed Regulation, data holders should be encouraged using "soft measures", such as financial incentives and platforms for the exchange of best practices;

- stresses that the use of data is in the public interest in order to respond to emergencies, to investigate and prevent developments that could lead to such emergencies and to increase resilience to future crises;

- stresses the importance of the possibility provided for in the proposal to oblige companies to share data in response to an information request from public authorities, in the event of a public emergency, exceptional need or recovery from such a situation;

- believes that data provided in response to an emergency should be readable for public sector bodies and EU institutions, agencies or bodies through common tools, without the need for further investment;

- points out that data interoperability and data quality are crucial and therefore welcomes the development of appropriate organisational approaches and structures.

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

102nd Commission Follow-up Report

In its 102nd Follow-up to the CoR Plenary sessions report dated 26 October 2022, the European Commission services provided their reactions to the CoR opinion on the proposal for a Data Act.

The Commission has taken note of a number of CoR recommendations for legislative amendments on issues that have been of concern for local and regional authorities, such as:

  • the principle of determination of the emergency in accordance with the law of the Member State whose public sector body is requesting the data;
  • language requirements in case of cross-border requests of data;
  • format of the data requested in order to decrease administrative burden of public authorities requesting the data;

In addition, the report clarifies some points that the original legislative proposal put forward and that brought attention of the CoR members:

  • the Data Act should not affect or modify legislation related to public access to official documents, which is in most cases a national competence;
  • the proposal for the Data Act does not apply to SMEs. The Commission considers that it would be disproportionately costly for such entities to establish and maintain data management systems;
  • The Commission considers that the proposal for the Data Act should not aim to establish or amend State aid rules and therefore that compensation mechanisms for individual, ad hoc requests for data from compensation such undertakings receive in their capacity as providers of services of general economic interest;
  • The online register of requests should only list the requests, and not the data provided.

It has also acknowledged some concerns that the CoR opinion raised:

  • competent authorities have a crucial role in ensuring that the Data Act is uniformly and effectively applied and enforced, and hence require clear rules and tasks. The Commission therefore has taken due note of the Committee’s position regarding the expansion of the competent authorities’ tasks, as well as the involvement of local and regional authorities.
  • The Commission has recalled that the European Data Innovation Board (EDIB) will already bring together relevant authorities to discuss data related issues (including to assist in the publication of guidelines). Furthermore, the Commission-funded Data Spaces Support Centre will provide support to the EDIB on the more technical aspects of data sharing.

 
26 Oct
 

First Presidency partial compromise

Based on the input submitted by the Member States, the Czech Presidency drafted the first partial compromise text of the Data Act proposal, covering Chapters I, II, III, IV, V and the related recitals, to be discussed at the Working Party TELECOM meeting on 5 September 2022.

The first compromise contains a number of legislative changes to the text and touches upon the CoR opinion recommendations in a very limited manner only. In concrete terms, issues partly in line with the CoR opinion encompass applicability of national law and public security of making data available by data holders.

 
19 Jul
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