Full Speed Ahead For EU Data Protection Reform


Coinciding with 'Data Protection Day' on 27 January 2014, the European Commission released a memorandum confirming the status of the anticipated reform of the European data protection framework. The promised overhaul of the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) has certainly not been as rapid as hoped, with publication of the memorandum marking exactly two years since reform was first proposed in January 2012. Over this time, we have monitored and reported on the frustrating to-ing and fro-ing in discussions among the EU's 28 member states, which has led reform to be significantly delayed (see our previous blog). Eager to push forward, Vice President Viviane Reding has commented, "Europe has the highest level of data protection in the world. With the EU data protection reform, Europe has the chance to make these rules a global gold standard. The European Parliament has led the way by voting overwhelmingly in favour of these rules. I wish to see full speed on data protection in 2014." To finalize the reform, European Parliament and the EU Council must separately agree their positions on the draft proposals, before proceeding to negotiating the final outcome. The EU Council is expected to finalize its position by mid-2014, with aim to strike a deal with the Parliament by the end of 2014.  Reform certainly seems to be a priority for the new Greek Presidency, who convened a meeting in Athens on 22 January 2014 with the European Commission and two European Parliament Rapporteurs, Jan-Philipp Albrecht and Dimitrios Droutas, and with...

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