Concluding a reasonable and balanced TTIP deal is among Jean-Claude Juncker’s top priorities. The EPP candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission declared that customs taxes on goods from both the US and EU “should be swiftly and fully abolished” and that they should recognize each other’s product standards or, at least, working towards transatlantic standards.
About TTIP, Juncker also said that he will not sacrifice EU’s safety, health, social and data protection standards on the altar of the free trade agreement. Data protection of European citizens is not negotiable for him. Juncker’s staff has confirmed that he wants to exclude data protection from the TTIP negotiations, supporting Viviane Reding’s line earlier (Commissioner for Justice and Fundamental rights). The EPP candidate has replied favorably to the requests coming from the European Parliament, which is the greatest supporter of data protection. This relationship could be useful to Juncker, since he will need the vote of 376 MEPs at least to be elected President of the European Commission.
Ecommerce Europe seeks a balanced approach to data protection reform. The current rules, from 1995 should be updated according to today’s standards. Sufficient protection is essential for fostering trust in the e-commerce market, a key driver for growth. However, the rules should not be detrimental to the industry by creating too much red tape. Concerning international data protection standards, Ecommerce Europe believes that Europe should have rules that foster a global playing field. Concretely, this means that European data protection standards should not hamper Europe’s competitiveness in a global sense.