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    EC to Further Open Finance Legislation, Set Up Common Data Spaces

    February 24, 2022

    The European Commission (EC) published proposal for a regulation on harmonized rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act), along with the related factsheet and questions and answers. The Data Act is amide to ensure fairness in the digital environment, stimulate a competitive data market, open opportunities for data-driven innovation, and make data more accessible for all. EC also published a staff working document that outlines the state of play of the common European data spaces that are being developed in various fields. The document presents relevant horizontal aspects, ranging from the concept of common European data spaces, through data governance aspects and legislative measures, to necessary data technology infrastructure, including European Union support programs for funding in this area. The common European data spaces discussed in the document include the common European Green Deal data space and the common European financial data space.

    The Digital Finance Strategy in European Union announced the creation of a European financial data space, which includes three main components: digital access to publicly disclosed financial and sustainability related information; easier reporting and sharing of supervisory data among European Union and national supervisory authorities; and business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) data-sharing and reuse in the European Union financial sector (open finance). As part of its Capital Markets Union Action Plan, EC proposed, in November 2021, a regulation to set up a European Single Access Point (ESAP), which is expected to be operational from 2024 and will be gradually developed in a phased-in approach. EC intends to adopt a broad but gradual and cooperative approach to open finance and plans to adopt a legislative proposal for an open finance framework in 2022, building on and in full alignment with the broader data access legislative initiatives. The working document on data spaces also highlights that the European Green Deal data space will be developed in phases. The first phase will prepare the ground and bring the relevant stakeholders together to develop a blueprint and a roadmap for the data governance and technical architecture of the European Green Deal data space. Work on prioritizing spatial data—also in alignment with other policies such as the Open Data Directive—has already started. The outcome of this work, together with other relevant horizontal legislation related to common data governance such as the Open Data Directive, the proposal for a Data Governance Act, and the proposal for a Data Act, will provide the legal data governance foundation for the European Green Deal data space. 

    .The proposal for the Data Act also includes measures to allow users of connected devices to gain access to data generated by them and to share such data with third parties to provide aftermarket or other data-driven innovative services. It also includes measures to rebalance negotiation power for small and medium-sized enterprises by preventing abuse of contractual imbalances in data-sharing contracts. The Commission will also develop model contractual terms to help companies to draft and negotiate fair data-sharing contracts. The proposal covers new rules allowing customers to effectively switch between different cloud data-processing services providers and putting in place safeguards against unlawful data transfer. EC also announced a launch of the second set of calls for proposals of the Digital Europe Program, which follows the adoption of the work programs and a first set of calls in November 2021. The deadline for these calls will be May 17, 2022. With respect to the second set of call for proposals, the funding will see an investment of over EUR 249 million in several areas: data spaces, European blockchain infrastructure, training courses for advanced digital skills, digital solutions for better government services, projects piloting the use of artificial intelligence to fight crime, and artificial intelligence testing facilities. Further calls under the Digital Europe Program are expected to be published in the summer of 2022.

     

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    Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, Insurance, Securities, Data Act, European Green Deal, ESG, Data Governance, Open Data, Regtech, Open Finance, Digital Europe Program, Open Banking, Cloud Service Providers, EC

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