The European Commission’s Decision on the Reuse of its Documents
Since 2011, the European Commission has adopted a decision regarding the reuse of its documents and has set the framework for its implementation.
The particular decision aims to expedite a wider reuse of information, reinforcing the openness of the Commission, as well as avoiding time consuming and dispensable administrative burdens both for the users and the Commission’s services.
This decision applies to public documents that have been produced by the European Commission or by the Publications Office of the European Union on its behalf through publications, websites or dissemination tools, as well as documents that have not been issued for economic or other practical reasons such as studies, reports and other data.
In 2003, the European Commission set up a legal framework to allow the re-use of public sector information through the ‘PSI Directive’ (Directive 2003/98/EC), subsequently revised by Directive 2013/37/EU. This Directive is built around two pillars of the internal market: transparency and fair competition. It focuses on the economic aspects of the re-use of information.
See also: 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.
The philosophy of this decision is based on the assumption that all documents should be available for reuse either for commercial, or for non-commercial purposes, without charge and without an individual application needed, except of where necessary.
The European Commission has set up a data portal to provide access to its structured data, in order to facilitate linking and reuse for commercial and non-commercial purposes. Commission’s services recognize and make available appropriate data in their possession. This data portal might enable access to data of other Union institution, bodies, offices and agencies at their request.
However, there are some exceptions to the general reuse policy, such as logos and software. Since the Commission does not hold the copyright for all materials included in the data portal, it is essential to check the copyright notice of the publications or data you want to reuse.
The European Commission’s decision also applies to all of the publications of the PM² Project Management Methodology, thus enabling its access and use by anyone interested in using it or contributing to its dissemination across Europe for the development of a common, open and free European project management methodology.
In November 2016, the European Commission published the Open version of the PM² Guide through the EU Bookshop which is available for free download or purchase (printed copy).