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European Commission officially releases European Open Science Cloud Declaration

On October 26, 2017, the European Commission has made available the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Declaration to all scientific stakeholders, for their endorsement and commitments to the realisation of the EOSC by 2020.

The Declaration emerged from the EOSC Summit of 12 June, where more than 80 key scientific stakeholders showed a strong sense of commitment, dedication and intellectual rigour with respect to the implementation of the EOSC. It was agreed that the EOSC is a truly common European project that one cannot afford to fail.

Overall, response has been plenty, positive and strong. Until today, 40 scientific stakeholders have endorsed the principles of the Declaration. A list of first signatories has already signed up to play a role in the EOSC 'coalition of doers'.

Many of the signatories also committed to one or more actions to implement the principles of the EOSC Declaration. The Action List accompanying the EOSC Declaration already features several commitments.

By endorsing the principles of the Declaration, stakeholders signal their intention to be involved in the making of the EOSC, for instance by taking specific action, by joining the Governance Board, by providing inputs via the annual stakeholder forum, or again by joining consortia to implement the EOSC via Horizon 2020. Necessarily, one must all be on the same sheet to work together in an inclusive, transparent and accountable way. Endorsement of the Declaration is a prerequisite for joint work on the implementation of the initiative.

Commitments by stakeholders are rather envisioned as specific actions relating to stakeholders’ expertise that contribute towards the implementation of one or more points of the EOSC Declaration. Commitments signal the tangible intention of one's organisation to support the implementation of the different elements of the European Open Science Cloud. By committing, one will help to take forward, expand, clarify and further specify the actions needed to implement the EOSC Declaration.

The DG is currently double-checking each individual stakeholder commitment, with the plan to publish the full list of endorsements and commitments received in mid-November. This will provide a first complete overview of stakeholder practical support of the initiative.

The Action List is the dynamic part of the Declaration with clear practical utility. It will be discussed at future Stakeholder Forums, it will feed into the EOSC Roadmap and be reviewed by the Governance Board of the EOSC once this is established. Every three months the Commission will update the Action List to include any further responses received.

In parallel, the Commission is working with Member States on the definition of governance and financing for the initiative. The Commission aims to have a first draft of the Roadmap ready by the end of 2017. While one is free and welcome to commit to implement all and any of the areas of the EOSC Declaration, one must be aware that the Member States and the Commission jointly will provide the blueprint for governance and financing of the initiative.

The EOSC Declaration is available online.