The EU Directive on Open Data and the Re-Use of Public Sector Information

Notably, on 20 June 2019 the Directive (EU) 2019/1024 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Open Data and the re-use of public sector information entered into force. This Directive replaced the Public Sector Information Directive, also known as the ‘PSI Directive’ (Directive 2003/98/EC) which dated from 2003 and was subsequently amended by the Directive 2013/37/EU.

The 2019 EU Open Data Directive was published in order to address the remaining and emerging barriers to a wide re-use of public sector and publicly funded information across the Union, to bring the legislative framework up to date with the advances in digital technologies and to further stimulate digital innovation, especially with regard to artificial intelligence. The Directive recommends that the legislation should focus on the following areas, so as to fully exploit the potential of public sector information for the European economy and society:

  • the provision of real-time access to dynamic data via adequate technical means,

  • the increase of the supply of valuable public data for re-use, including from public undertakings, research performing organisations and research funding organisations,

  • the tackling of the emergence of new forms of exclusive arrangements,

  • the use of exceptions to the principle of charging the marginal cost, and

  • the relationship between this Directive and certain related legal instruments.

The EU Open Data Directive was transposed into Irish law as Statutory Instrument S.I. No. 376 of 2021, the European Union (Open Data and Re-use of Public Sector Information) Regulations 2021. These Regulations came into operation on 22 July 2021. The Open Data Technical Publishing Guidelines should align with the EU Open Data Directive.