Brussels, 20 April 2006
Commission Decision of 7 April 2006 on the re-use of Commission information (OJ L107/38 20.4.2006).
(1) The new information and communication technologies have created unprecedented possibilities to aggregate and combine content from different sources.
(2) Public sector information is an untapped resource that could be the basis of new, added-value, information society products and services. The Commission underlined the economic potential of public sector information in its Communication of 23.10.2001 'eEurope 2002: Creating an EU framework for the exploitation of public sector information'.
(3) The Commission and the other Institutions are themselves holders of many documents of all kinds which could be re-used in added-value information products and services and which could provide a useful content resource for companies and citizens alike.
(4) The right to access Commission documents is regulated through Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
(5) Directive 2003/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council sets minimum rules for the re-use of public sector information throughout the European Union. In its recitals it encourages Member States to go beyond these minimum rules and to adopt open data policies, allowing a broad use of documents held by public sector bodies.
(6) In its Communication 'eEurope 2002: Creating an EU framework for the exploitation of public sector information', the Commission announced an update of the policies on the re-use of information of the EU institutions.
Several positive steps have been made in this respect, such as the new Eurostat policy on dissemination of information and the move towards a freely accessible Eurlex portal.
(7) The new Commission initiative 'i2010 - a European Information Society for growth and employment', aims among other things at facilitating the creation and circulation of European content. As part of i2010, this Decision determines the conditions for the re-use of Commission documents, with a view to achieving a broad re-use.
(8) An open re-use policy at the Commission will support new economic activity, lead to a wider use and spread of Community information, enhance the image of openness and transparency of the Institutions, and avoid unnecessary administrative burden for users and Commission services.
(9) This Decision should be implemented and applied in full compliance with the principles relating to the protection of personal data in accordance with Regulation (EC) 45/2001 of the European Parliament and the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data.
(10) This Decision should not apply to documents for which the Commission is not in a position to allow re-use, e.g. in view of third party intellectual property rights or where the documents have been received from the other Institutions,
Article 1 - Subject matter
This Decision determines the conditions for the re-use of documents held by the Commission or on its behalf by the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities (Publications Office) with the aim of facilitating a wider re-use of information, enhancing the image of openness of the Commission, and avoiding unnecessary administrative burden for re-users and the Commission services alike.
Article 2 - Scope
1. This Decision applies to public documents authored by the Commission or by public and private entities on its behalf:
(a) which have been published by the Commission or by the Publications Office on its behalf through publications, websites or other dissemination tools; or
(b) which have not been published for economic or other practical reasons, such as studies, reports and other data.
2. This Decision shall not apply:
(a) to software or to documents covered by industrial property rights such as patents, trademarks, registered designs, logos and names;
(b) to documents for which the Commission is not in a position to allow re-use in view of intellectual property rights of third parties;
(c) to the research results of the Joint Research Centre;
(d) to documents made accessible to a party under specific rules governing privileged access to documents.
3. This Decision shall be implemented in full respect of the rules on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data, and in particular Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 .
4. This Decision is without prejudice to and in no way affects Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 .
Article 4 - General principle
Subject to the restrictions set out in Article 2(2) and 2(3) all documents shall be re-usable for commercial or noncommercial purposes in accordance with the conditions set out below. Where possible, documents shall be made available through electronic means.
Article 12 - Review
This Decision shall be reviewed three years after its entry into force. The review shall in particular look into the possible application of this Decision to the research results of the Joint Research Centre.
Article 13 - Entry into force
This Decision shall enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.