Open data creates better digital services for citizens

Council of the EU
  • 09/10/2017
  • 11:00
  • Press release
  • 543/17
  • Institutional affairs
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The Council has established its open data policy by setting out conditions for the re-use of Council documents.

This policy will improve the flow of information between the Council and the public. It will help ensure that information can be re-used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

"Open data should be a solid source of information for citizens and offer benefits to companies. Transparency and digitisation is a winning combination for increasing access to information in the internal market."

Matti Maasikas, Estonian Deputy Minister for EU Affairs

The new decision embodies the principle that all citizens are allowed to re-use the information in Council documents free of charge and without the need to make individual applications.

The Council's open data policy will be applied in compliance with personal data protection rules and the security rules for protecting EU classified information.

Its development will be facilitated through the EU Open Data Portal, which aims to be a single point of access to data from the EU institutions and bodies.

This portal contains a large number of data sets and links to open data portals of EU member states.

The Council has participated in this initiative since 2015 using the following three data sets:

  • metadata of the Council's public register
  • metadata of requests for public access to Council documents
  • the Council's votes on legislative acts

The right of access to Council documents continues to be regulated by regulation 1049/2001.

Public sector information is an important source of knowledge and innovation in the private sector, supporting the creation of better digital services for citizens and companies across Europe.

The decision was taken without discussion at a meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.