The European Commission High Level Expert Group on the European Open science cloud (EOSC) has published its first report. The report shows that the main challenges of EOSC are social rather than technical – there is a significant lack of dedicated instrument or authority that would coordinate EOSC-type activities across the Member States, and an alarming lack of data experts both in Europe and globally. The major technical problem is the complexity of data and analysis procedures, rather than the amount of data. The report also includes specific policy and governance recommendations for future reflection and engagement of scientific user communities, research funders and Member states. The main aim of the EOSC is to increase trust in related services and systems, as well as encourage re-use of shared scientific data across disciplinary, geographical and social borders.