Innovation potential through public data: EU Commission obliges member states to release high-value data sets


On Jan. 20, 2023, the EU Commission published a list of high-quality datasets that public bodies in all EU member states must make available for reuse free of charge within 16 months (effective date of the implementing regulation: Feb. 09, 2023)

Certain public sector data, such as meteorological or air quality data are particularly interesting for creators of value-added services and applications and have important benefits for society, the environment and the economy – which is why they should be made available to the public.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said:

“Making high-value datasets available will benefit both the economy and society, for example by helping to combat climate change, reducing urban air pollution and improving transport infrastructure. This is a practical step towards achieving a successful Digital Decade and building a more prosperous digital future.”

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said:

“Data is a cornerstone of our EU industrial competitiveness. With the new list of high-value datasets, published today, we are unlocking a large amount of public data for the benefit of all. Start-ups and SMEs will be able to use this data to develop new products and innovative solutions that improve the lives of citizens in the EU and around the world.”

The Regulation is set up under the Open Data Directive, which defines six categories of such high-value datasets:

This thematic range can be extended at a later stage to reflect technological and market developments. The datasets will be available in machine-readable format, via an Application Programming Interface and, where relevant, as bulk download.

The increased availability of data will boost entrepreneurship and result in the creation of new companies. High-value datasets can be an important resource for SMEs to develop new digital products and services, and therefore also an enabler helping them to attract investors. The re-use of datasets such as mobility or geolocalisation of buildings can open business opportunities for the logistics or transport sectors, as well as improve the efficiency of public service delivery, for example by understanding traffic flows to make transport more efficient. Meteorological observation data, radar data, air quality and soil contamination data can also support research and digital innovation as well as better-informed policymaking, especially in the fight against climate change.

A list of all defined high value datasets (extracted from the implementing regulation for a better overview) can be downloaded as PDF here (German only).

Highvalue datasets already published on can be retrieved using the predefined filter “HighValueDatasets”.


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