2 documents
20 December 2021
Digital Transition

Build a data taxonomy at a European level

There is an on-going discussion as to how to make the taxonomy of data (as a normalised classification) available to and endorsed by all cities in Europe. On the EU level, the Commission is revising the Public-Sector Information (PSI) Directive. When adopted in June 2019, the Directive was renamed as the Open Data and Public Sector Information Directive and will make public sector and publicly funded data re-usable. There was also a call for proposals (H2020) to develop tools to make use of large datasets that will be made available through the European Cloud Infrastructure. In addition, DG CNECT is looking at championing local administrations to provide them with the necessary tools to be able to analyse big data. This work was used as a basis for data taxonomy action.

There are a number of various terms related to data that are in use in the EU legal and regulatory framework and documentation dealing with data management. To ensure the consistent application of laws and effective free flow of data, the relationship between the different terms needs to be understood and clear distinction should be drawn. While many terms may appear synonymous and interchangeable, they have distinct legal meanings that aim to capture various aspects of data management. 

There is a need for a uniform data taxonomy (hierarchical classification of the data based on shared characteristics) to be compiled at EU level. This would respond to the goal to have shared definitions for all types of data in the EU.

As a contribution to this reflection, the Digital Transition Partnership of the Urban Agenda for the EU elaborated an expert report to support the classification work as an output of its Action 6. This action is still very valid and work will have to continue to promote a uniform data taxonomy.

The report is available below to be downloaded. 

Report on data concepts
(639.71 KB - PDF)
Grid on data definitions
(17.73 KB - XLSX)