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Brussels, 21 June 2012
Joint Statement on the negotiation of a EU-U.S. Data Privacy and Protection agreement by European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
The following statement made during the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting in Copenhagen (see MEMO/12/459):
"We reiterate our determination to finalize negotiations on a comprehensive EU-U.S. data privacy and protection agreement that provides a high level of privacy protection for all individuals and thereby facilitates the exchange of data needed to fight crime and terrorism, as announced at the November 2011 summit by our Presidents. Such an agreement will allow for even closer transatlantic cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism, through the mutual recognition of a high level of protection afforded equally to citizens of both the United States and the European Union, and will thus facilitate any subsequent agreements concerning the sharing of a specific set of personal data.
Negotiations have taken place at a steady rhythm since they began in March 2011 and progress has been achieved on a number of provisions. These include important principles such as data security, transparency of data processing or use, accountability, maintaining the quality and integrity of information and the existence of effective authorities ensuring data protection oversight. We are likewise continuing our work on a number of domains such as purpose limitation, retention of personal data, and effective administrative and judicial redress.
In view of our common objective to achieve mutual recognition, we will continue to make all efforts to come to a conclusion on these key points. To this end, we agree to take stock of progress during the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting in 2013, and to consider next steps to ensure the continued rapid advancement of the negotiations."