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Europe’s competitiveness and strategic autonomy in the increasingly data-intensive world depend on our ability to ensure wide availability of well-managed high-quality data and related competences in all sectors, e.g. through the Common European Data Spaces. The GreenData4All initiative’s support for the Green Deal Data Space is therefore highly welcome.

In order for any EU data policy to be effective, it must advance the development of data management policies and practices that are applied in a uniform manner across sectors (research, business and public) and data spaces. They must aim at making data findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR) and promote interoperability at all its levels: legal, organisational, semantic and technical level (European Interoperability Framework).

In the case of INSPIRE, it is essential to arrive at concrete solutions that promote these principles in the planned technical specifications for data and data sharing. It must be considered how all readily existing relevant data related to INSPIRE, also other than geospatial data, is made interoperable. One challenge is to make the terminology and classifications used in the INSPIRE’s context compatible with that of the environmental disciplines in general and with different languages, national laws and contexts. 

Means to improve interoperability include at least studying the field-specific vocabularies and (meta)data models used in Europe, considering the exact level of the digital object at which persistent identifiers (PIDs) are applied, and thinking whether forming data products based on different sources is possible by publishing mappings, crosswalks and workflows that refer to original sources opened with any language and schema. In the implementation, follow-up on the availability of multilingual data according to the requirements needs to be strengthened.

Regarding the goal of simplifying and modernising the technical provisions for data harmonisation, attention must be paid to ensuring a reasonable transition period. Depending on how much editing the data, metadata and software require, data harmonisation can either be an easy task or very laborious. The magnitude of the changes introduced must be reflected in the length of the transition period.

For the Green Deal Data Space to make a truly valuable contribution to Europe’s data economy, it must be made interoperable with the other sector-specific European data spaces and paired with computing and AI tools needed for combining and processing data, as well as the necessary competences and creativity for data-based value creation. Development of holistic, collaborative, and human-centric data, computing and AI ecosystems is a precondition for reaching Europe’s potential of a € 1 trillion data economy by 2030 (European Data Market Study 2021-2023).