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Corporate Reference Data Management - EU Vocabularies
Corporate Reference Data Management

Corporate Reference Data Management policy in the European Commission

In October 2019, the Information Management Steering Board (IMSB) of the European Commission decided to prioritise, among other actions, the development of data policies and guidelines for reference data. Therefore, a reference data management coordination group was set up. The objective of the coordination group is to build consensus on a corporate reference data management policy and to agree a set of principles for the management of reference data assets as well as to establish an initial set of reference data assets to be shared for common usage across the Commission.

As it is envisaged in the Data governance and data policies at the European Commission document: Directorates General (DGs)/services will prioritise high-value data assets, such as reference data; a Commission-wide reference data domain will be created on the basis of the Commission's data inventory; DGs/services will give priority to the reuse of common reference data; and a common governance will ensure that reference data management will follow corporate good practices.

The result of the work of the coordination group is reflected in this endorsed policy Corporate Reference Data Management in the European Commission.

In the list of corporate reference data assets, the priority is on cross-domain assets, those ones that can be used across all DGs and services. Examples are languages, economic activities, and geo-references. In cases where there are multiple candidates for a particular type of concept, a dedicated task group will be established to identify the possible reference source and to define the context in which the candidates will be recommended.  A comply-or-explain policy will ensure that in all relevant cases a common set of reference data assets is used. 

The management and operational levels need to adhere to clear and effective management principles that lead to a coherent and consistent management landscape, which in turn will deliver the benefits that the policy aims to achieve. These management principles are further developed in the form of best practices that provide guidelines and ideas on the best course of action.

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