The First European Parliament Vote On The New Data Protection Regime Will Be Delayed


The date of the first binding vote by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on the proposed General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation), which was initially planned for April-May 2013, has been postponed a second time. During the meeting on May 6, LIBE decided to delay the vote even further, but did not provide a new date. It is most likely to be held before the summer break, which takes place in mid-July. Given the volume of suggested amendments to the EU draft Data Protection Framework, this is hardly a surprising outcome.

Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German MEP and LIBE's rapporteur for the Regulation, received 3,133 proposed amendments to the proposed Data Protection Regulation, and confirmed that both postponements stemmed from the volume of contested areas. At the same time, four other parliamentary committees prepared non-binding opinions that proposed numerous changes. The same was done by a number of EU Member States.

The lively discussion results from the fact that the Regulation will not allow Member States to tailor any provisions they disapprove. Aspects of the draft that have been criticised include the "explicit" consent requirement, introduction of the right to be forgotten and the right of portability, the requirement for data protection officers, and the treatment of smaller companies, as well as the punitive sanction regime of 2% of worldwide annual revenue for a specified list of compliance failures (see also our blog about EU Member States arguing for watering down the Proposed Regulation). There were also calls for increasing the clarity of numerous provisions. The lively discussion is understandable, given the move from a directive to a regulation that provides no scope for national variations, and the overly prescriptive nature of the draft Regulation.

Sophie in 't Veld, a Dutch MEP and LIBE's vice-chair, expressed concerns about excluding...

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