Commission's data package does not go far enough.

10-Jan-2017 @ 18:00

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Commission's data package does not go far enough.

New European Commission proposals designed to free up the EU's data economy do not go far enough, according to Conservative MEP Vicky Ford.

Mrs Ford, Chairman of the European Parliament's Internal Market Committee, believes more needs to be done to remove restrictions, imposed by some Member States, forcing data to be stored locally.

Although the Commission acknowledges the problem and says it will launch proceedings to address "unjustified or disproportionate data localisation measures", Mrs Ford has little confidence today's proposals effectively address the problem, which stifles innovation and adds costs onto small businesses.

"This is not a hypothetical issue but one that affects businesses large and small across the EU, as they made clear at a hearing I hosted in the Parliament before Christmas," she said.

"We have been consistently calling for better enforcement, and the use of infringement proceedings where necessary, to address a broad range of failures in the single market for services, but progress has been glacial. Despite a recognition of the problem today, I see nothing here to suggest that anything is going to change."

Restrictions on the free flow of data often force businesses wishing to expand into to new markets to open new data centres. For small companies this can represent up to half their IT costs.

A report published this week by the European Centre for International Political Economy estimates that the removal of data localisation restrictions could lead to an EU-wide GDP gain of up to €8 billion a year in cost savings and improved efficiency.

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