DPR: No progress on reforms

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Vivianne Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, has confessed she does not expect the Data Protection Regulation reforms to pass before the European Parliament elections, held on 22-25 May across Europe. The Commission proposal has come a long way and it is arguably one of the most debated dossiers over recent periods. After the Commission has submitted a proposal, in January 2012, the European Parliament LIBE committee has discussed the topic over 2013 and got to an agreement in the autumn of 2013. This agreement contained a set of compromised amendments and gave the rapporteurs the mandate to negotiate in a trilogue with the European Commission and the Council.
The Council is where the legislation is now stuck for several months. Some Member States think that the reforms are not tough enough, such as Germany. Other countries state the contrary and believe that the measures proposed are too strict – the UK Prime Minister David Cameron has made such statements following Council meetings. All in all, agreement looks very far away and efforts to reconcile both camps have had no success until this point.
Commissioner Reding has indicated that reaching ‘partial agreement’ within the Justice and Home Affairs Council (where all the ministers of Justice are gathered) would be the best possible outcome and would put it on a vote at the European Parliament before the European Parliamentary elections. In effect this means that there should be some agreement within the JHA Council before March, as the final plenary sessions of the EP are in April. But even partial agreement seems a very ambitious goal. Steadily it seems that the EU reform on the Data Protection Regulation will not materialize in the current mandate of the EP.
Ecommerce Europe supports solid protection of personal data. It stimulates trust, which benefits the Digital Single Market and is a factor in achieving restoration of the EU economy. The current proposal, though, is too strict and rather hampers the prospects of the Digital Single Market. Ecommerce Europe support proportional action to protect EU citizens’ data.

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