On the 16th of May, Lorenzo spoke at the panel “European Data Economy and Regulation of Data” about regulatory convergences and recent developments in the EU Data Economy at TILTing Perspectives 2019. The other panellists were Dr. Martin Husovec and Dr. Inge Graef, assistant professors as Tilburg University, Prof. Teresa Scassa from the University of Ottawa, and Prof. Estelle Derclaye from the University of Nottingham. The panel discussed regulatory convergence (e.g. “how should the PSI Directive and the Database Directive interact?”) and recent developments in policy (e.g. the Building a EU Data Economy and Towards a Common European Data Space communications from the Commission) and law (e.g. the recast of the PSI Directive). Lorenzo’s main arguments involved:
- the relationship between PSI legislation and personal data protection (the Commission says it is an established part of EU law – we are respectfully bound to disagree);
- the (uncanny) similarities between the evolution of PSI law and policy in the EU and the (current) seminal attempts at regulating high-value public-sector data (pSI with a lowercase “p”, or “inverted PSI”, as it is sometimes informally referred to);
- the conflation between PSI and the concept of open data, and the effects that it may have on the principle of conferral. The PSI Directive is a market-making instrument, and Art. 114 TFEU (its legal basis) is a market-making tool. Yet open data is also about transparency and accountability, and about fostering public-sector efficiency, not just about innovation and economic growth, as PSI is. How does the insertion of open data’s rationale(s) in the PSI Directive square out with Art. 114 TFEU as a legal basis and with the principle of conferral?
All those themes are tackled in a draft paper co-authored by Lorenzo Dalla Corte and Bastiaan van Loenen. Yet, the recast of the PSI Directive has not been finalized as of now, and the paper’s finalization (and submission) is awaiting the publication of its final version. Coincidentally, some people in the panel’s audience asked about a writeup of the main points made there.