EU Open Data Portal

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EU Open Data Portal
Type of site
Public service portal and
institutional information
Available in 24 official languages of the EU
Owner  European Union
Created by EU Publications Office
Commercial No
Registration Not required
Launched December 2012
Content license

The EU Open Data Portal gives access to open data published by EU institutions, agencies and other bodies [1]. The portal is a key element of EU open data strategy.

Legal basis and launch date

Launched in December 2012 in beta mode, the portal was formally established by Commission Decision of 12 December 2011 (2011/833/EU) on the reuse of Commission documents to promote accessibility and reuse.[2]

While the operational management of the portal is the task of the Publications Office of the European Union, implementation of EU open data policy is the responsibility of the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission.


The portal allows anyone to easily search, explore, link, download and reuse the data for commercial or non-commercial purposes, through a catalogue of common metadata. Through this catalogue, users access data stored on the websites of the EU institutions, agencies and other bodies.

Semantic technologies offer new functionalities. The metadata catalogue can be searched via an interactive search engine (Data tab) and through SPARQL queries (Linked data tab)[3]. There is also a showcase of visualisation applications from various EU institutions, agencies and other bodies.

Users can suggest data they would like the portal to be linked to, give feedback on the quality of data obtainable and share information with other users about how they have used it.

The interface is in 24 EU official languages, while most metadata are currently available in a limited number of languages (English, French and German). Some of the metadata (e.g. names of the data providers, geographical coverage) are in 24 languages following the translation of controlled vocabulary lists that are used by the portal.[4]

Terms of reuse

Most data accessible via the EU Open Data Portal are covered by the Europa Legal Notice [5] and can be reused free of charge, for commercial and non-commercial purposes, provided that the source is acknowledged. Specific conditions on reuse, related mostly to the protection of third-party intellectual property rights, apply for a very limited amount of data.

Data available

The portal contains a very wide variety of high-value open data across EU policy domains, as also more recently identified by the G8 Open Data Charter. These include the economy, employment, science, environment and education. The number of data providers — which include Eurostat, the European Environment Agency and the Joint Research Centre — continues to grow.

So far, around 70 EU institutions, bodies or departments (e.g. Eurostat, the European Environment Agency, the Joint Research Centre and other European Commission Directorates General and EU Agencies) have made datasets available, making a total of over 11,700.

In addition to giving access to datasets, the portal also is an easy entry point to a whole range of visualisation applications using EU data. The applications are displayed as much for their information value as for giving examples of what applications can be made using the data.

Architecture of the portal

The portal is built using open source solutions such as the Drupal content management system and CKAN, the data catalogue software developed by the Open Knowledge Foundation. It uses Virtuoso as an RDF database and has a SPARQL endpoint.

Its metadata catalogue is built on the basis of international standards such as Dublin Core, the data catalogue vocabulary DCAT and the asset description metadata schema ADMS.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "About EUODP data providers".
  2. ^ "Commission Decision of 12 December 2011 (2011/833/EU)".
  3. ^ "How the search function works in the EU Open Data Portal".
  4. ^ "EU controlled vocabularies".
  5. ^ "Europa Legal Notice".
  6. ^ "Open Data Portals in Europe".

External links

  • Europe 2020 – Official EU Site
  • Digital Agenda for Europe
  • Open Data section of above site
  • Joinup community on EU open data
  • Communication ‘Open data — An engine for innovation, growth and transparent governance’
  • Legal rules on public services information
  • Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Dublin Core
  • Publication and usage of linked data on the Web
  • Data catalogues
  • Open data classification by Tim Berners Lee
  • Open Data Challenge (now over)
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