Rules of Participation Working Group

Designing the Rules of Participation that shall define the rights, obligations governing EOSC transactions between EOSC users, providers and operators


 Juan Bicarregui

The Rules of Participation activity focusses on recommending a minimal set of clear Rules of Participation that shall define the rights, obligations and accountability governing all EOSC transactions by the various EOSC users, providers and operators. Emphasis is put on finding the common requirements across the very heterogeneous European landscape of Research Infrastructures and service providers.

The Rules of Participation shall embrace the principles of openness, transparency and inclusiveness. They shall guarantee an open, secure and cost-effective federated EOSC with services of documented quality. There will be room and need for differentiating the rules applicable to different EOSC users taking into account:

  1. The different roles and different services available in EOSC (eg data producers, service providers, data/service users);
  2. The specificities of different scientific disciplines;
  3. The diversity and level of readiness of infrastructures and services at disciplines, Member States and Associated Countries, and European levels and the differences in their established rules and processes;
  4. The variety of service providers and users that will be involved in the EOSC (e.g. public versus private, horizontal versus specialized);
  5. Changing needs and practices regarding the implementation of the rules, in particular concerning compliance with existing legal frameworks in Europe (GDPR, etc.) and emerging ones (e.g. free flow of data) ;
  6. The widening of EOSC user base to the industry and the public sector taking into account both the supply side and demand side.​

The Rules of Participation activity outputs include:

  1. The objectives for the Rules of Participation (Q3 2019)
  2. A proposal of an initial set of RoP for immediate implementation (Q4 2019);
  3. The collection of user feedback on the initial set of RoP (Q2 2020)
  4. A revised proposal of the RoP for application after 2020 (Q4 2020).

Due to the nature of the research that the Rules of Participation activity will conduct, it is advised that all other activities should also contribute to the progress by providing findings that directly contribute towards the completion of the tasks planned.

The groundwork for the design of such rules is being laid primarily by the EOSCPilot project funded by the Work Programme 2016 and the work of the High Level Expert Group on the EOSC, while the EOSC Declaration set the general principles.

The consultation and available evidence suggest that the rules ought to address:

  • the use of the tools, specifications, catalogues and standards (EOSC shared resources) and applicable methodologies (framework for FAIR research data);
  • the principles for regulating transactions (e.g. financial mechanisms and procedures, agreements/bylaws established by the EOSC governance framework); and
  • the applicable legal frameworks (e.g. GDPR, copyright, Data Security and Cybercrime, dispute resolution and redress mechanisms, e-commerce directive).

Moreover, the rules would apply differently to different EOSC participants, depending on their maturity and role (providers vs. users, scientists or innovators), location (European vs. global research partners), and would need to respect the specificities of different scientific disciplines. Therefore, compliance with the rules could differ based on:

  • the current situation and readiness of data infrastructures and services at the level of Member States (research infrastructures, e-Infrastructures) and disciplines (level of standardisation and integration) and the differences in their established rules and processes;
  • the actual existence and variety of service providers and the actual needs of users of the EOSC (e.g. public vs private; horizontal vs specialised); or
  • evidence of changing needs and practices in relation with the implementation of the rules, in particular as concerns compliance with existing legal frameworks (e.g. GDPR) and emerging ones (e.g. free flow of data).


  • Q3 2019: Initial EOSC Rules of Participation
  • Q3 2020: Final EOSC Rules of Participation


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