EU Data Protection Regulation or Directive? The debate continues... | DMA

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EU Data Protection Regulation or Directive? The debate continues...

European Justice and Home Affairs Ministers have yet to agree on whether the new EU data protection law will be a Regulation on a Directive.

(First, a quick reminder of the difference between the two: A Regulation is directly applicable in all EU member states and individual member states have no say over its implementation in their state; a Directive gives discretion to member states as to how they implement it.)

At an informal Ministerial meeting earlier this month, Germany said its own national data protection law has a higher standard for its public sector than the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation and asked for a public sector exemption if the new European data protection framework is a Regulation. Meanwhile, the UK Government is pushing for a Directive rather than a Regulation

Working group meetings will start again in September focusing on the one-stop shop and sanctions for breaches of the legislation and it is hoped that the ministers will reach agreement on a complete version of the text at their meeting in December.

UK MEPs take up key positions in European Parliament committees
UK Labour MEP Claude Moraes is the new chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE), the key committee for the new draft data protection framework. LIBE will elect the MEPs who will represent the European Parliament in the three-way negotiations (Trilogue) with the European Commission and the Justice and Home Affairs Ministers to agree a final version of the text. These negotiations are expected to take place in early 2015.

Vicky Ford, a UK Conservative MEP was elected as Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Rights Committee, another influential committee on the data protection legislative framework that contributed an Opinion in the previous Parliament. The DMA and FEDMA will meet key MEPs in September. (FEDMA is also preparing an information pack about the one-to-one marketing industry for all MEPs.)

Who will be the new Justice Commissioner?
Former Luxemburg Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker takes over as President of the European Commission but the heads of government failed to reach agreement over which portfolio would be allocated to which Commissioner at a summit on 17 July 2014.

A further meeting at the end of August will determine the issue. It is rumored that the Commissioner nominated by Sweden would like the Justice portfolio. This could be good news as Sweden has similar views on the draft data protection Regulation to the UK.

Meanwhile, Viviane Reding has resigned as European Commissioner for Justice to enable her to take her seat in the European Parliament. Fellow Luxembourger, Martine Reicherts has taken over the post as Justice Commissioner.

There is also a new civil servant as head of the Data Protection Unit in the European Commission – Bruno Gencarelli from Italy replaces Maria Boulanger.

With the new European Parliament now preparing for its summer recess, there will be little progress now until September.

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