An EU council committee has voted in favor of a new Open Data law that will see European countries sharing data freely across borders. Under the new law, public sector information would be easily accessible and free to be re-used by any party. This includes statistics, mapping information, weather data, and public archives from institutions such as libraries and museums.
Having a rich variety of international data readily available at a "free or marginal cost" could help remove some of the barriers European startups face. The European Commission says that the raw data could be integrated into new or existing products and services, giving the examples of navigation systems, smartphone weather apps, or statistics for economic forecasts. A 2011 study estimated that, by sharing data openly between nations, the EU could see overall direct and indirect economic gains of €40 billion annually (roughly $52 billion).