Saturday 6th July, 2013
12:00pm to 12:45pm
State of play before negotiations
Since January 2012, Members of European Parliament and governments of EU countries have been discussing a proposal by the European Commission to modernise EU data protection rules. Both the Parliament and the governments (acting as the Council of Ministers) want to define their respective positions in June and then start to negotiate with each other. The outcome will directly affect privacy of citizens in more than 30 countries. The talk will highlight the state of procedure, the objectives of both sides and the expected next steps.
In January 2012, the European Commission has proposed two new instrument on data protection in the EU: a regulation for the private sector and the general administration and a Directive for the police and justice cooperation. Its aim was to modernise the rules so that t is easier to apply them in a networked world and to increase the level of harmonisation between the 34 countries who will have to apply them. Both the rules themselves and the procedures to enforce them shall be more uniform and easier to apply for organisations that have activities in more than one country, and citizens shall enjoy the same level of rights everywhere.
In order for the new draft regulation and directive to become law, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers of the EU, composed of the 28 governments of Member States, will have to agree on a common text.
The EP is planning to vote on its own draft texts in June, and the Irish Presidency of the Council has also put huge efforts in trying to achieve a political agreement that is supported by a majority of Member States.
If everything goes according to plan, at the time of SIGINT, both starting positions will be known, so that citizens could assess what is at stake and discuss the possible results.
While intermediate results from the Council are rarely published, the EP process is quite transparent. Earlier votes in some committees have demonstrated that there are intensive discussions and wide differences between the views of elected members. The influences of industry lobbies has been an issue of huge concern. Civil society groups are calling for support to their campaigns in order to defend privacy rights against what they fear to be an unprecedented assault by businesses exploiting personal data. Data protection authorities have provided comments on different aspects of the drafts and have been particularly critical about the directive for police and justice.
The session will aim to provide insight into the legislative proces, both substance and procedure, and allow for a discussion on content and options for engagement. Particular focus will be put on issues relating to technology development. The discussion could also touch on other EU policy projects relating to data protection.
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