Open Access Policies and Mandates
Open Access Policies in the European Union
There are significant economic, social and educational benefits to making research outputs available without financial, legal and technical barriers to access. Open access incorporates national research into an interoperable network of global knowledge, increases national research impact, provides new research partnerships, and removes professional isolation. Society as a whole benefits because research is more efficient and more effective, delivering better and faster outcomes for all. Open access strengthens economies through developing a strong and independent national science base. There is growing evidence that countries also benefit because Open access increases the impact of the research in which they invest public money and therefore there is a better return on investment .
The European Commission’s objective is to optimise the impact of publicly-funded scientific research, both at European level (FP7, Horizon 2020) and at Member State level. Open access is one of the tools to enhance Europe's economic performance and improve the capacity to compete through knowledge. Results of publicly-funded research should be disseminated more broadly and faster, for the benefit of researchers, innovative industry and citizens. Open access can also boost the visibility of European research, and in particular offer small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to the latest research for utilisation.
The Commission’s strategy is to develop and implement open access to research results from projects funded by the EU Research Framework Programmes, namely FP7 and Horizon 2020. Open access requirements are based on a balanced support to both 'Green open access' (immediate or delayed open access that is provided through self-archiving) and 'Gold open access' (immediate open access that is provided by a publisher). Read more about open access in Horizon 2020 here.
The Commission’s strategy is also to encourage national initiatives at Member State level and contribute to their co-ordination within the European Research Area. The Commission also provides funds for research and supporting activities in the area of open access. During the course of Horizon 2020, the Commission will continue to engage with stakeholders, while continuing to encourage a culture of sharing scientific publications and, with due respect to the rights of all concerned, research data. 
July 2012 Commission's Recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information states that “Policies on open access to scientific research results should apply to all research that receives public funds. Such policies are expected to improve conditions for conducting research by reducing duplication of efforts and by minimising the time spent searching for information and accessing it. This will speed up scientific progress and make it easier to cooperate across and beyond the EU. Such policies will also respond to calls within the scientific community for greater access to scientific information.” It also promotes open access as “a key feature of Member States’ policies for responsible research and innovation” and recommends to Member States to develop their policies on open access to scientific publications. 
In addition, the Recommendation covers open access to scientific research data that “helps to enhance data quality, reduces the need for duplication of research, speeds up scientific progress and helps to combat scientific fraud.”  In its final report “Riding the wave: How Europe can gain from the rising tide of scientific data”  in October 2010, the High Level Expert Group on Scientific Data emphasised the critical importance of sharing and preserving reliable data produced during the scientific process. The Commission considers urgent policy action on access to data and recommends it to Member States.” In October 2013 it released a “Report of the European Commission - Public Consultation on Open Research Data”  with some recommendations and the way forward.
The Commission encourages a multi-stakeholder dialogue at national, European and international level on how to foster open access to and preservation of scientific information. Participants should in particular look at:
- ways of linking publications to the underlying data;
- ways of improving access and keeping costs under control, e.g. through joint negotiations with publishers;
- new research indicators and bibliometrics encompassing not only scientific publications but also datasets and other types of output from research activity and the individual researcher’s performance;
- new reward systems and structures; and
- the promotion of open access principles and implementation at international level, especially in the context of bilateral, multilateral and international cooperation initiatives. 
Science Europe – an association of European Research Funding Organisations and Research Performing Organisations – released two position statements: "Principles on the Transition to Open Access to Research Publications" (April 2013)  and “Open Access Opportunities for the Humanities" (November 2013)  embracing open access as the way forward.
A study funded by the Commission suggests that open access is reaching the tipping point, with around 50% of scientific papers published in 2011 now available for free.  “The tipping point for open access (more than 50% of the papers available for free) has been reached in several countries, including Brazil, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the US, as well as in biomedical research, biology, and mathematics and statistics.” 
Governments have begun to take an interest in open access out of a desire to ensure that the research which they fund reaches the largest possible audience, as well as out of a recognition of the waste of public resources which results from the old system in which taxpayers pay once for research and a second time for access to its results.
MELIBEA – a directory of institutional Open Access policies lists 88 funders’ mandates requiring researchers to SHERPA JULIET lists 94 research funders’ Open Access policies and ROARMAP: Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies lists 85 funder mandates (in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Commission and European Research Council, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Peru, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States).
If you are interested in introducing an open access policy see some of recommendations in the following documents: “Guide to good practices for university open-access policies” by Stuart Shieber and Peter Suber, the Harvard Open Access Project ; MedOANet Guidelines for Implementing open access policies for research performing and research funding organizations ; “Open Access Policy Kit" produced by RCAAP (Portugal Open Access Scientific Repository) ; and “Policy Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Open Access” by Alma Swan, commissioned by UNESCO .
 John Houghton, Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, Melbourne (2009): Open Access – What are the economic benefits? A comparison of the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Denmark
 European Commission/Open Access
 July 2012 Commission's Recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information
 Riding the wave: How Europe can gain from the rising tide of scientific data
 October 2013 Report of the European Commission – Public Consultation on Open Research Data
 Science Europe Position Statement "Principles on the Transition to Open Access to Research Publications" (April 2013)
 Science Europe Position Statement “Open Access Opportunities for the Humanities" (November 2013)
 Open access to research publications reaching 'tipping point' European Commission - IP/13/786 21/08/2013
 Eric Archambault, Didier Amyot, Philippe Deschamps, Aurore Nicol, Lise Rebout & Guillaume Roberge: Proportion of Open Access Peer-Reviewed Papers at the European and World Levels—2004-2011 (August 2013)
 Guide to good practices for university open-access policies by Stuart Shieber and Peter Suber, the Harvard Open Access Project
 MedOANet Guidelines for Implementing open access policies for research performing and research funding organizations
 Open Access Policy Kit produced by RCAAP (Portugal Open Access Scientific Repository)
 Policy Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Open Access by Alma Swan, commissioned by UNESCO