All publicly funded scientific articles will be freely available in Europe by 2020. There will only be a few cases in which the articles will not be available, such as intellectual property rights or security or privacy issues.
Under the presidency of Netherlands State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science Sander Dekker, the EU ministers responsible for research and innovation decided unanimously to take these significant steps. Mr Dekker is pleased that these ambitions have been translated into clear agreements to maximize the impact of research.
“Research and innovation generate economic growth and more jobs and provide solutions to societal challenges,” the state secretary said. “And that means a stronger Europe. To achieve that, Europe must be as attractive as possible for researchers and start-ups to locate here and for companies to invest. That calls for knowledge to be freely shared. The time for talking about open access is now past. With these agreements, we are going to achieve it in practice.”
This is a good move for Europe because researchers always need more funds and most of them HATE academic publishers and being forced to sign over their copyright to a paywall in exchange for nothing. But institutional evaluation criteria force you to do so.
Here is a link to the full document that outlines this new initiative.