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EU Data Act "Unnecessary uncertainty for companies"

Date

28 Jun 2023

Sections

InfoSociety

Frankfurt/Brussels, 28 June 2023 – Commenting on the political agreement reached by the EU institutions on the Data Act, Harmut Rauen, Deputy Executive Director of the VDMA, says:

"The results of the trialogue on the EU Data Act are not good news for the mechanical and plant engineering industry. There have been some improvements in some areas, such as the protection of trade secrets. Nevertheless, the Data Act still represents a massive intervention in the previously well-functioning freedom of contract in the exchange of data between companies. This law would not have been necessary for business-to-business data exchange and has so far only created uncertainty because the impact on data-based business models is still unclear. This is because the European legislator is intervening deeply in business models that it is largely unfamiliar with, and is making it more difficult to reach the tailor-made agreements that are essential in complex industrial business models. This is an experiment in digital policy with an unclear outcome. 

The Data Act also comes at an inopportune time: the industrial data economy is just gaining momentum, not least due to industry-led initiatives such as Manufacturing-X. Moreover, the Data Act is part of a wave of EU regulation that not only costs money and creates uncertainty, but also ties up the digital experts urgently needed for innovation. It is difficult to understand why EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promises to subject legislation to a competition test and to reduce reporting obligations, while at the same time creating new obligations. The EU legislator must finally meet the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises again."

A photo of Harmut Rauen, VDMA Deputy Executive Director can be found here.

VDMA represents more than 3600 German and European mechanical and plant engineering companies. The industry stands for innovation, export orientation and SMEs. The companies employ around 3 million people in the EU-27, more than 1.2 million of them in Germany alone. This makes mechanical and plant engineering the largest employer among the capital goods industries, both in the EU-27 and in Germany. In the European Union, it represents a turnover volume of an estimated 770 billion euros. Around 80 percent of the machinery sold in the EU comes from a manufacturing plant in the domestic market.

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