Government endorses the Commission’s proposal for Data Act

Press release 13.04.2022 13.00 fi sv en

A smartwatch. (Image: Mika Pakarinen, Keksi/LVM)

On 7 April 2022, the Government submitted a Union communication to Parliament on the European Commission’s proposal for Data Act. The proposed Act is a very important legislative proposal for the data economy, and Finland welcomes the objectives of the initiative.

On 23 February 2022, the European Commission published a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data, the so-called EU Data Act. It is part of the Commission's Data Strategy for 2020 and aims to promote a data-driven single market in Europe. The Act would be a horizontal statute laying down basic rules for all sectors that utilise data.

“I am pleased that the importance of data has been included in mainstream discussions, but we still need significant additional investments in the EU data economy to make the sharing, use and utilisation of data as well as the infrastructure required for data portability work in a manner that brings different sectors together,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

Data Act improves access to and availability of data

The Commission’s proposal sets out new rules on who can use and access data generated across sectors of the economy in the EU. The aims of the Act are to enhance the easy access to data especially for users and smaller companies, to ensure fairness in data-based value chains, to promote competition in the data market and to enable data-driven innovations. It also aims to promote interoperability and standardisation in enhancing data sharing.

Finland is in favour of the objectives of the Data Act. Finland considers EU-wide horizontal data regulation necessary and supports the Data Act as an initiative that promotes the EU data market and provides opportunities for Finnish operators too. In data regulation, Finland highlights that the EU must aim for a human-centred data economy and for fostering further trust in digital solutions.

“The Data Act is also the result of Finland’s long-term efforts to create a fair and human-centred data market in Europe. It will change the rules and increase competition as well as give consumers and smaller companies the right to influence the sharing and use of data in the future,” Minister Harakka says.

What's next?

The Government submitted a Union communication to Parliament on the matter on 7 April 2022. The communication will be considered by the Grand Committee, to which the relevant special committees submit their statements.

At the EU level, the proposal will also be discussed in a Council working group. Finland is involved in the group’s work.

Finland has proactively influenced the Data Act and will continue to be active in promoting it.

Inquiries:

Anna Wennäkoski, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 475 5649, anna.wennakoski@gov.fi

Maria Rautavirta, Director of Unit, tel. +358 40 718 5975, maria.rautavirta@gov.fi