Fifth Freedom facilitates the development of EU Digital Single Market

The EU Single Market refers to the European Union as one territory without any internal borders or other regulatory obstacles to the free movement of goods and services and has been defined by the fundamental Four Freedoms. Recently, the Estonian government introduced an important update: the fifth freedom, focused on the free movement of data.

Since the beginning of July 2017, Estonia holds its first presidency of the Council of the European Union. Being responsible for the definition and promotion of the Council’s positions till the end of this year, Estonia aims to give a special focus to the realisation of the European Digital Single Market.

Apart from the Four Freedoms of the internal market set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Estonian presidency dedicated a Vision Paper that reports the need for a debate on the „free movement of data” as the fifth and future looking long-term goal to discuss.

In order to promote the free flow of data, the EU focuses on three main areas, where the once-only principle (OOP) is mentioned as a basis to promote the cross-border exchange of public administration data. The Estonian Vision Paper indicates to support the OOP and introduces the Once-Only Principle Project (TOOP) and its main pilots as part of an ongoing Horizon 2020 initiative on the cross- border application of the principle, focusing on the exchange of non-personal data at EU level.

To read the full paper, see: