Over the past years, the EC has issued a series of policies and initiatives on Open Science that has led to the implementation programme of the European Open Science Cloud.

This section, and in accordance with the recent Recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information where Open Science is one of the main focus, provides an overview and updates of the EC policies on Open Science and most importantly, it highlights policies and practices on OS across Europe, with a particular focus on the Member States and best practices in the EU countries.


The European Research Area (ERA) is a unified research area open to the world based on the Internal market, in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely. Through ERA, the Union and its Member States will strengthen their scientific and technological bases, their competitiveness and their capacity to collectively address grand challenges. 

The Digital Single Market (DSM) forms one of the ten political priorities of the European Commission and, as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), is also one of the 7 flagship initiatives set by the “Europe2020” strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. DSM envisages a market where “free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured … under conditions of fair competition, and a high level of consumer and personal data protection, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence.”


European Cloud Initiative

As part of the package of measures for Digitising European industry, the "European Cloud Initiative – Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe" aims to strengthen Europe's position in data-driven innovation, improve its competitiveness and cohesion, and help create a Digital Single Market in Europe.

This initiative will provide European science, industry and public authorities with:


Public Sector Information

A common legal framework for a European market for government-held data

The Digital Single Market encompasses several policy areas where actions need to be further communicated and implemented by the Member States, one of them being on “Open Data”. The term refers to all public sector information (PSI) which, according to the PSI 2013 Directive, should be properly described with metadata and published as datasets in an open, interoperable platform. Additionally, to ensure re-usability, standard licenses should be applied to them. It is worth noting that the Directive includes Archives, Museums and Libraries in the public sector bodies, mainly because of their cultural heritage and digitised materials.


Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the world

The three O’s” to foster research and innovation policy making

Open Innovation or Open Innovation 2.0 (open in a “user-centric” sense), focuses on new business models and funding schemes to be developed so that everyone, particularly the industry and citizens, have access to knowledge and are able to use innovation workflows to analyse, publish and commercialise their findings. An Open Innovation ecosystem encourages the hatching of new entrepreneurs and the creation of new products, services and, therefore, new markets. The free flow of knowledge, data and new technologies is the key to achieve the transition from research (knowledge) to innovation (products, services). Open Innovation accommodates this need by also completing the missing part of commercialisation.

Open Science follows e-Science, i.e. the computationally-intensive/digitalised research process and practice, while positioning collaboration and re-usability as its driving forces. Open Science opens up the research lifecycle, from the concept of an idea and the collection of relevant material (papers, data, etc) to the publication, archiving and re-use of the research outcomes, including metadata and research data. It creates a new modus operandi for science, where all stakeholders (researchers, funders, research performing organisations, ITs, librarians, citizens, even governments) are involved and research is organised, linked, verified, facilitated by new technologies and, enhanced with collaborative and coordinative activities. Legal barriers in accessing and sharing information and data, as well as, utilisation of data-intensive, cost-demanding infrastructures are among the issues that are eliminated with Open Science.

Open to the World captures Europe’s leading position in scientific productivity and the instruments of the European Research & Innovation, communicated internationally through activities, funding, agreements that enable such collaborations. It also reflects on Europe’s contribution to global societal challenges ensuring the effectiveness of its research and innovation across-borders.