The future of the European data economy at stake
In February 2020, the European Commission published an ambitious data strategy that defined the steps towards a European internal data market. The aim of the strategy is to promote the availability and sharing of data to ensure enterprises, researchers and the public sector can better utilise data to fuel new services and innovations.
The establishment of the common data market will require new kinds of regulation, self-regulation and standards in the EU internal market, as well as cooperation and coordination across sectoral boundaries. However, these elements must not compromise the ability to innovate, nor create unreasonable financial obstacles.
In 2018, Sitra initiated the IHAN project to promote a fair data economy. As part of the IHAN project, we examine what elements are required to create a governance model for the data market. To gain a more full understanding, we analyse how similar governance models have been created in other sectors and for what needs. The main question we considered was how trust between major actors in the sector was built and what was the role of governance models and their different elements. By reflecting on the developments in other sectors, we sought to understand the elements the data economy needs.
Answers were sought by interviewing experts involved in building the European financial and telecom markets over the last 40 years. A governance model has been successfully built for both sectors over the decades that ensures trust, facilitating the movement of data between different actors and countries. Each of the people interviewed had several decades’ experience in management in one or more of the sectors covered by the study. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 are based directly on the views of the interviewees and the examples they cite.
This working paper is intended to stimulate discussion on matters requiring closer investigation when developing the European data economy in the years to come. We want to challenge societal actors and companies to a common debate on the construction of a management model that is fair to all.