The voice of civil society in the European Data Space

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Ton Zijlstra

Aug 17, 2023, 11:51:34 AM8/17/23
to Spaghetti Open Data
Ciao all,
This morning I had a nice conversation with Napo. We talked about how in the current wave of new European data legislation and the forming of the European common data space the voice of civil society and activists is largely absent.

Years ago (2008-2013) we all formed a vibrant network of people and civic iniatives around open data, triggered by the first European directive (PSI Directive), and through it helped raise awareness, created examples and applications that helped shape public perception of the utility of open data.

This time around the wave of legislation is much more massive, Data Governance Act, Data Act, AI Regulation, Open Data Directive, and the High Value Data implementing regulation. They all create new tools to work with data in public and for the common good.
Together they underpin the EU single market for data, aka the common data space.
I think there's need of an effort to ensure the commons, the public sphere, themes for the common good need to be much better represented in the shaping of the European data space. Currently companies and research entities are most vocal in shaping that space. Civil society and the public sector itself is much less involved or even invisible. However: we will all by default be operating in the European data space whenever we do something with data. Regardless of our involvement or not. I'd rather be involved.

So I am setting out to see if I can help create some network and momentum like we did before for open data. This is in part 'bringing the band back together again' and seeing who is still active from before, and is in part finding the many new people who got involved in these topics in the past years and who bring their own perspectives and capabilities.
I am reaching out to those in my network I still know of. To hear which organisations, projects, examples, people are active around using the instruments in these new EU laws and in the EU (sectoral) data space(s).

After a first inventory maybe we can do some online or f2f meet-ups, perhaps using conferences that are already planned anyway as a meeting point etc.

Let me know what you think, and what types of initiatives/people you are aware of (regionally, nationally, pan-EU)

(I posted on my blog with a similar message: ), you can also reach me / follow me on Mastodon : (personal) (my work account)


Alberto Cottica

Aug 17, 2023, 1:10:09 PM8/17/23
How nice to hear from you, Ton (and Napo)!

These days I am still active, in the sense of pushing the logic of "open" into my professional activities. This mostly means open research data, with Edgeryders and now UNDP. I no longer go to open data conferences and such, but would be happy to make an exception in the logic of "putting the band back together"!


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Luigi Reggi

Aug 17, 2023, 1:57:07 PM8/17/23
Ciao Ton e tutti!

Monithon still active in using open data. If you plan to have a chat, count me in!

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