Data Governance and Data Policies at the European Commission (2020)

This is a ‘living’ document. Its purpose is: (i) to show how data governance and data policies can allow the Commission to transform into a data-driven organisation; (ii) to provide direction; and (iii) to identify areas for further work. It is the result of
joint work between the Secretariat-General and the local data correspondents network. It is informed by and consolidates
existing local initiatives under a common corporate framework, and is aligned with international standards and good practices in the field.

Trusted and reliable analytics and artificial intelligence — which are key ingredients for transparent, evidence based policymaking— require findable, accessible, interoperable, secure and high-quality data.

Data governance and data policies help the Commission comply with regulatory and legal requirements, notably those linked to data and document management, access to data and documents (including open data), data protection, intellectual property and information security, thereby reducing associated risks. They deliver medium to long-term efficiencies in resources spent on data management, due to the optimisation of data creation, collection, acquisition, access, use, processing, sharing, preservation and deletion, and to better data quality.

Data governance sets out a framework with clear roles, and the responsibilities and interdependencies of those roles.
Data policies introduce common principles, guidance and working practices in the areas of data management, data interoperability and standards, and data quality. Equally important are the areas of data protection, information security and intellectual property. However, these are not the focus of this document. Corporate data policies do not specify detailed processes.

This allows Directorates-General (DGs)/services to organise themselves in the way that best suits their internal organisation,
while ensuring coordination and alignment across the Commission, including its executive agencies.