The increasing volume of data, combined with new technological approaches on how data is stored and processed, is a source of growth and innovation. Data access and sharing are thus becoming central topics, including in the space sector, which can not only benefit from data from other suppliers and sectors, but is also an important source of data for several markets.

In the EU, a set of documents and legislation has been approved to facilitate data access and sharing. Their goal is to develop a single European data space, i.e., a market where data is secure and accessible to all, as indicated in the European Strategy for Data. The recent 2024 Commission Staff Working Document on Common European Data Spaces lists the data spaces to be developed (e.g., on agriculture, energy, finance, green deal, health, manufacturing, mobility, tourism), for which space data can play an important role: for instance, on 22 March, Portugal approved the setup of a consortium for agriculture  data space (AGRISPACE), thus showing the increased acknowledgment of the role of space data across sectors.

Most relevantly, the development of a Strategy on Space Data Economy was also put forward by the European Commission in its key priorities for 2024 and in the 2024 Commission Work Programme, with the aim of increasing the use of space data across economic sectors. The Strategy will aim to complement the proposal for the EU Space Law (EUSL).

Moreover, the EU recently approved the Data Act, which will be applicable, for the most part, from September 2025, and which complements a set of other legal acts on data, notably the Open Data Directive, and the Data Governance Act. Their purpose is to facilitate reliable and secure access to data, fostering its use in key economic sectors and areas of public interest. Anticipated to generate an additional €270 billion in GDP for EU Member States by 2028, these new regulations address legal, economic, and technical barriers that have historically hindered the full utilization of data.

The development of an EU Earth-Observation governmental service was also announced, with contracts having been executed with two consortia to conduct studies on "Potential EU Earth-Observation Services for Governmental Use."

Other initiatives promoting data access and sharing are also worth referring. Notably, the European External Program with Africa (EEPA) is teaming up with VODAN-Africa with the aim of fostering data equity and promoting ethical, inclusive AI. The objective is to establish an African federated data space, where data is securely held and resident – ensuring that data remains under the ownership of its respective owner while still being accessible and utilized based on clearly defined principles.